Springtime. A time of new life, fresh starts, and cleaning out everything from top to bottom. It is usually around this time of year that people do the traditional Spring Cleaning in their homes, but its also a good time to clean up our ministries as well. You have been doing great events; building relationships with students, parents and team members all year, but before you look to far ahead in your calendaring, it would be good to take a pause to take a look at how you can streamline some of the things in your ministry so that you can potentially free yourself up to do other things, whether those be on the personal or ministry side life. So this week, I'll offer a few tools to help with organization, and next time, we can talk about the value and how-to of evaluation.
Social Media One big time-consumer for some people is Social Media. Its one of the big ways that students are able to be reached, but it is sometimes difficult to constantly spend time creating a new post that will appeal to them. A few tips: 1. Enlist help. Social Media is a cool way you can involve more people in the ministry, both students and core team. You'll want to give them parameters (since they will be representing your ministry), but also allow them to have fun with it. You can divide it out among people by event or by topic or other ways. Either way, you can have a great presence and you can just check in on it. 2. Use a scheduler. There are several out there. There is one called later (later.com) that has a decent pricing structure (including a free level that will work for many of you), non-profit pricing, and is instagram based, which is great because that is one of the most used among students right now. 3. Have a variety of types of posts. Certainly use it to post about events, but make sure you go beyond that as well. Use the story. Students look at the story sometimes more than the regular posts...plus it has some fun features like polls and filters that you can't do in a regular post.
Team Planning Freedcamp.com, or other project managing sites, are great to help keep your team involved in the planning without having to meet face to face all the time. Obviously it doesn't totally replace the need or desire, but those times you are together can be spent in better ways by utilizing online tools. It can allow you to spend time together building community amongst the team as opposed to having to "talk business" all the time. Plus, if you have introverts (like me) on your team, its a little easier to put in ideas or volunteer for pieces of programming "on their time".