January 8, 2023
Last week I illustrated the choice between giving up or finishing the race Christ has called us to run. As promised, this post is on what to do when you decide to run that race, or when you decide to continue, and how to continue the race until the end.
"Hold up," some of you might say. "Isn't this a ministry blog? What does this have to do with kids' ministry, or my relationship with God?"
Have you ever had trouble having a good routine for devotional time? Your ministry feeling like a mess? Or really, doing something well? Whatever we do, we're supposed to do to the glory of God. Finishing things well is exactly how we do that.
Every ministry should have goals, as well. Ultimately, it should glorify Christ and share Him with others. However, you will find the ministry or individual has smaller goals to contribute to that. Let's use the KidzAblaze team for an example.
Our main goal for the year may be to teach the kids we minister to about Jesus, and how He wants to bring them to life (Alive is our theme for this year). Part of teaching this is how we present the musical. If we constantly trip over each other, stumble over (or forget) our lines, and don't get all our props in order, what do you think the kids will be focused on? Most likely, not Jesus!
So we have the goal to do each musical well this year. This is, of course, a group effort, but as every individual plays a part in the goal, I'll include examples for both the group and the individual.
1.) Check the Goal.
As a group, we might pray and ask God if the goal is a good one. We also should check it against God's Word. Since we already know the musical is a worthy goal, we then see if it's a doable goal. Do we have time for it? Is someone's part a few paragraph's too many? Is the musical too long itself? Will it work for there group? These are a few questions to ask for any group effort. We've already had this established as an important part of teaching the kids. The goal is both worthy and doable.
What about the individual? Well, everyone who's assigned a speaking part has to memorize their lines. We've already shown it's a worthy goal to memorize them well, as that's a huge part of the musical running smoothly. The member then has to ask him/herself if it's a doable goal. While if you're on the team you should be able to do it, there will be times someone is gone or extremely busy those few weeks leading up to the ministry weekend or week. It's times like that we have to decide what our priorities are. If I'm too busy for a part, I may have to email Pastor Randy and ask him if someone else would like to take it, so it can be played better. Or I may have to let go of something else. Always ask yourself about priorities, because, believe me, at time two things will conflict.
2.) Plan for the Goal.
Our team knows we're not going to do our musical perfectly the first time. Or the second. Or the third...which means we'll need to plan time for practicing the scenes and workshops. We usually set aside the night before we do a scene or scenes to practice everything. In addition to this, we have at least one weekend we practice the musical when most of the team is present. Certain people work out the details of each musical a few weeks ahead, and notify the team who's playing what part or teaching which song. Planning is essential to doing our musical well.
As for me, when I get a part, I've already established I need to memorize my lines. I may be able to do that spontaneously, but guess what happens when you don't tell yourself you need to get something done? So if I memorize by scene, and I have 18 days to memorize everything, with 10 scenes I'll decide to do 1 scene a day. "Why not divide 10 by 18 and do 0.55555... scenes each day?" Because I know my human self way too well--I'm gonna procrastinate. The moral is, always schedule in procrastination. Never procrastinate, but you will anyway, so make sure you leave room in your plan. Besides deadlines, it also helps immensely to set aside a specific time, such as 4:30-5:00 PM every day. Or, if you're already busy, wake up 30 minutes earlier. Unless you're already only sleeping 6 hours, it won't hurt you. Trust me, I know. If something's important to you, you'll find, or make, time for it.
3.) Take the Steps Toward the Goal.
The 2nd most important thing to apply? Focus. Our team may or may not be great at this. I'll leave that to your imaginations. When we do focus, I can tell you, our results end up much better.
The most important thing to apply? Pray. I know it seems simple, but sometimes simple things work best. In fact, when we pray as a team, we often end up focusing better as a whole. For me, prayer not only helps me do well, but also reminds me of why I'm doing something in the first place: to glorify God. And that makes all the work worth it.
I hope that gives you some ideas as we jump into this new year with goals, plans, and dreams. I pray God helps and guides you all the way!!