A few days ago I was talking to my friend Michael Marchand, who has worked as a Catholic youth minister for several years, when he told me a frustrating story.
It’s a story I hear ALL the time from people who serve at Catholic parishes, whether in ministries or on staff.
(And it will probably resonate with you!)
Back in 2006, Michael was hired full-time at his first parish. He was right out of college, full of ideas, and eager to jump into youth ministry.
He had these dreams of spending every day with teenagers: reaching new students, building relationships, hanging out at school lunches, grabbing ice cream after school, running Bible studies, leading retreats, and going on ski trips.
But then he hit reality:
No one told him about the amount of time he’d have to spend sitting at his desk.
No one told him about the administrative side of things.
No one told him how much time he would spend designing fliers and posters.
No one told him how many emails and voicemails from parents he’d have to return every day.
And no one told him how much energy those type of boring, mundane tasks would drain from him and his ministry.
There were tasks Michael was good at, and other tasks that he (admittedly) was really bad at. The tasks he was bad at were easy for him to hand off to other people – he learned to do that pretty early on.
But it was the (boring, mundane, administrative) tasks that he was good at that were the most time-consuming and draining.
Web Design – Michael had been designing and building websites since middle school. Back then he was even teaching his computer science teacher about how to write HTML code. It was easy to him and even fun a lot of the time. But the better he got at it, the more features he’d add – and the more time he would spend on it.
Graphic Design – Michael has a great eye for design and a love for Photoshop. His ministry always had the best fliers, posters, postcards and t-shirts. But he was spending hours each week creating them.
It took Michael a few years to realize it, but eventually he had an epiphany:
He was spending too much time on tasks that were RELATED to ministry but were NOT MINISTRY.
What made it even worse was that other people at his parish had noticed how good he was at these tasks, and they started asking him to help them design flyers, websites, and t-shirts.
Michael wanted to be a team player, so he always agreed to help. It was easier for him to do those things himself rather than “help them” to do them, so he just started agreeing to being in charge of things like web design, graphic design, the Sunday bulletin, social media accounts, video production, and more!
(Did I mention that Michael was hired to be the YOUTH MINISTER, and not the youth minister/bulletin designer/web host/communications director/video producer/graphic designer??)
Michael was spending more time doing tasks related to OTHER PEOPLE’S MINISTRY than he was spending time actually doing the ministry he was so excited about.
Now, I know Michael isn’t the only one with this problem. Earlier this week, I emailed my online followers and asked:
What tasks are you spending too much time on?
Hundreds of people responded, and the stories were mostly the same:
Ministry leaders everywhere are WASTING TIME…and they want to fix that.
Yet at least one thing comforts me: all of us, whether we work at a parish or serve in a ministry, seem to be wasting our time doing the same things.
Based on those hundreds of responses, here are the Top 6 Areas Where We’re Spending Too Much Time:
- Managing registration, tracking payments, updating records, and keeping attendance.
- Designing fliers, posters, and other graphics.
- Updating the bulletin and website, or preparing bulletin announcements.
- Managing and growing social media platforms.
- Sending out email newsletters and replying to questions.
- Dealing with technology issues (both ours and our coworkers’).
Here’s the thing: all of those areas are important.
They all have to get done.
But I’m guessing you never got into ministry so you could spend time doing the things on that list…right?
(I know I didn’t!)
So then I asked my online followers another question:
How many hours do you spend on those six time-wasting activities each week?
I was stunned.
The average answer to that question was 17.
People are wasting 17 hours a week doing things that may be RELATED to their ministry…but are not ministry.
I asked my friend Michael how much time he spent on these secondary tasks as a youth minister.
At his last parish, he realized that he was spending 4 hours EVERY DAY doing things like designing fliers, updating the website, writing bulletin announcements, managing registration, building social media campaigns, etc.
Yes, those are all important things, but that means he was spending 20 hours EVERY WEEK doing things that were not ministry – the thing he was called to do!
It took him years to realize this fact, but once he did, he was determined to fix the problem and his priorities.
And so he did.
And his solution was brilliant.
After a lot of trial and error, Michael figured out 4 keys to help him stop wasting all that time:
When he shared his 4 keys with me, and told me more about each one, I was blown away.
Michael has now chiseled away most of the time he used to waste (while still getting those tasks done!) so that he is freed up to spend MOST of his week doing what he loved and was called to do!
Imagine how that would feel! Picture yourself not bogged down in mundane, boring, repetitive stuff every day and instead working on ministry projects that fulfill you!
When Michael shared about his 4 keys, I thought they were so genius, I asked if he’d be willing to share them with you.
I was able to convince Michael to join me for a live webinar during which we’ll break down these 4 strategies.
It’s a 100% FREE online event that we’ve created EXCLUSIVELY for people like you – people who want to save time so you can do more ministry and better serve the Church!
The webinar is next week and you can sign up at StopWastingTimeNow.com. Here are the details:
WHAT: FREE webinar training!
WHO: Brandon Vogt and Michael Marchand
WHEN: Tuesday, February 22 @ 2:00pm ET (1:00pm CT, 11:00am PT)
Just click here to register:
In addition to the great free content, Michael and I will also be offering some great BONUSES to folks who join us LIVE on the webinar!
These include eBooks, PDF cheat sheets, recommended tools, and much more.
It’s going to be awesome! Can’t wait to see you there.
Last time I did a webinar, we had around 1,000 people sign up and we had a blast. So I want to make sure you claim your spot early and don’t miss it.
Just click below and then add it to your calendar:
Click here to register → Claim my spot in the free webinar!
See you on the webinar!