Over the years, I’ve been guilty of spending an inordinate amount of time on the front end of a task or project. Instead of simply completing the task, I’ll also create a system to make completing future tasks easier. As we’ve already discussed, automation is helpful for tasks that are going to be repeated or recurring ministry experiences. The secret to automation is creating systems! Not only do you need to document everything you do—you need to systematize it.
Earlier, I mentioned how I began to automate some recurring events, such as infant dedications. Some people with whom I’ve shared these tips think, “I don’t have time to spend 8-12 hours mapping out all of the little details that come up! That’s a waste of time!” Actually, it is a “waste of time” not to create systems. Why? Because the next time you need to prepare for the same task or event, you’ll be doubling the hours you spend working on it unnecessarily. A dedication to creating systems means that you will shave off hours in the future. That 12 hours of investment, over time, is going to pay out in massive time dividends. Systems take time, but systems also make time.
Over the years, people have been blown away at how many balls I’ve had in my court. I began to be referred to in our church as “the systems guy.” I’d create a series of repeatable processes that others could effectively pull off without my direct involvement. I would work diligently with those individuals on the front end to ensure that I was not missing anything.
Over time, when we put systems in place and had the right people doing the right things, the system fed itself and provided extra time to everyone involved. You may not be the type of person who finds thinking ahead easy. If you don’t have the spiritual gift of administration, find someone who does. You’d be surprised how much automation can be implemented in your ministry—and it’s all through systems. Systems take time, and systems make time.
Josh Denhart is a children's ministry curriculum writer and children's ministry performer. Josh is a seasoned educator with BA in Chemistry Education, a MA in Effective Instruction, and earned National Board Certification in Young Adult and Adolescent Science. As a former High School chemistry teacher, Josh melded his love for Science and Christ, creating “The Amazing Chemistry Show”, a traveling gospel-centered stage show with fire, explosions and foam. Carrying this Ministry of Chemistry even further, Josh created “Science VBS”, an internationally celebrated Vacation Bible School curriculum.
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