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Winging it vs. Being Prepared

Updated: Nov 12, 2021

We've all been there before. Come on now! Be honest. You have your heart set on getting something done and then...BAM! Before you know it, the time has gotten away from you and it's time to deliver. So what do you do? You get those wings out and start flapping with a vengeance! Winging it may have worked for you once or twice. But one thing's for sure, the day of winging it in Children's Ministry is over! Given the expanding responsibilities, evolving ministry dynamics, and enhanced communication expectations in a digital age, Children's Ministry leaders can no longer operate like in times past, and those that do will find themselves in a world of hurt!

Preparation is key for any Children's Ministry that wishes to be around in the future and the absence of it will wreak havoc on the entire department. As ministry leaders, we should always approach our efforts, labor, and service with a spirit of excellence because we recognize that even beyond the children and families that we serve, the Lord is the ultimate beneficiary of all of our efforts. Not only is preparation the "holy" thing to do, but it's the healthy thing to do. A variety of studies have shown that being prepared can dramatically reduce fear, anxiety, and instill confidence. My point is this...BEING PREPARED MATTERS! Ultimately a lack of preparation is directly tied to procrastination. If you've been bit by the procrastination bug, check out these 4 tips guaranteed to get you back on track.

  • Create deadlines and stick to them! - Leaders who prepare appropriately set and stick to reasonable deadlines which result in a better understanding of what they do and don't have time to accomplish.

  • Just say NO! - Stop saying yes to every request. Close your door, run for the hills, hide under your desk, or in the custodian's closet if you have to! (FYI... I've done that before when I spotted "Chatty Cathy" headed my way!) My point is this... Protect your productivity at all costs so you can complete your responsibilities on time!

  • Delegate Responsibly - Don't overburden yourself with too many responsibilities. Remember, you were never meant to do this thing alone! Use others properly to help meet deadlines. Word to the wise...DO THIS AHEAD OF TIME! Last-minute notices force Children's Ministry workers to scramble. The result is frustrated helpers, suboptimal performance, and less effective programming for children. Know this, well-intentioned helpers who are constantly put up against a wall with your requests will not be helpers in the future.

  • Organize Your Space - An organized department means keeping and returning everything in its proper place. When you're prepared ahead of time, you know what you need. When you're organized, you know what you already have. At the end of the day, organized spaces save money, time, and resources.

Listen, I get it, LIFE HAPPENS! But that's no excuse to throw all caution to the wind. Besides, the calling that God has placed on our lives as next-generation leaders is too big and the mission is too great. Children's Ministry leaders must learn how to organize their personal lives and the ministry departments they steward. At the end of the day, Children's Ministry leaders who prepare ahead of time get to do more with the time they have. So stop wasting time on activities or items that don't add value to the church, department, kids, or you. It's time to clip those wings! Commit to becoming a prepared leader today and excel in ministry tomorrow!

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This definitely speaks to me. I have lost count over how many times I have winged leading children‘s ministry in the past. I know it is not God’s highest and best, but He has been so gracious in times where I have lacked proper preparation. Sticking with a deadline is a great idea! It is so simple, yet one of the first things to lose track of if your not paying attention. Thank you for your tips, Esther!

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