Leadership

3 Time Management Hacks Every Pastor Should Be Using

Pastors, use these 3 time management hacks to help you prioritize people and make your ministry more effective.

3 Time Management Hacks Every Pastor Should Be Using
by

Dean Sweetman

If you're a church leader, you know that it's pretty easy to run out of gas.

Most church leaders are overstretched, under-resourced, and constantly looking for ways to make their job easier and their output more productive.

Here’s the dilemma:

As a pastor, you’re called to shepherd your church. You’re not called to administrative tasks.

This is not to say anything against administrative tasks. But it is to say that if you’re burning up all your energy on administrative tasks, you’re investing it in the wrong place.  

Why pastors need to prioritize people, not administrative tasks 

In the business world, we would describe this as a “customer-facing” role. Every business has staff that are non-customer facing. For instance, at Tithe.ly, we have a whole host of engineers working diligently behind the scenes to build and maintain products. However, their work wouldn't be supported without our “customer-facing” roles: our sales staff who are talking to customers every day. Both need each other, and neither would be possible without the other. However, we would have major problems if our customer-facing staff started pouring all their energy into non-customer facing tasks. 

This returns me to my point: as a pastor, you have a customer-facing role. You were drawn to ministry, not for the money, but because you love people, and you love to connect people to God. When I reflect on the time I spent as a pastor working at the local church, one of the most important lessons I needed to learn was to get as many administration tasks out of my life as possible. Now some pastors are clearly better at administration than others (I was not one of them). However even if you are gifted at administration, it will be vital for your energy and your ministry that you put people above administration in your work. 

Time Management Hack 1: Delegate administration to volunteers 

How do you cut out administration in order to value people more? One way is to delegate. A volunteer can often be far more effective than a pastor at consistently accomplishing an administrative task. When we can clear things off our plates, it will decrease stress and connect us more to the work we love. Your energy will soar. So it really begins here: getting administrative tasks off your plate by delegating to volunteers so you can spend more energy doing what you love, connecting people to God. 

Time Management Hack 2: Use technology to multiply your work 

Another vital way to increase your energy and productivity as a pastor is to find technology that will help save you time. There really has been a revolution, even in the last ten years, of software that is designed to eliminate tasks for you, saving you time. The way software accomplishes this for you is scale. 

Software takes something you naturally can produce (say answer an email, publish a sermon, or generate a budget), and multiplies it. So instead of just sending one email to a congregant at a time, church software allows you to scale what you produce, so one becomes a hundred, or even thousand. From giving, to church management, to web and text, all the technology that’s available for a church leader is actually a de-stressor, because the software multiplies your efforts and decreases your burdens. 

For every church leader, the question becomes, “What is some gift God has given me that could be multiplied by the right use of my energy and time?” Maybe it's to preach and teach. Maybe it's your love of sitting and listening through pastoral care. Is it possible that by delegating administrative tasks and finding the right software, you could do more of what God’s gifted you to do? 

Time Management Hack 3: Run to God in prayer 

Finally, don’t miss out on a chance to run to God in prayer. It’s so easy when we’re stressed to think that more work is the best way to manage our time. Instead, we must constantly remember that Jesus wants to carry our burdens with us. There will be days when the weight of ministry will feel like too much. Cast your cares on Jesus. Ask him to carry your burdens with you. This is all God anyway. He's really the fuel for your engine so that you can keep doing what he’s called you to do in ministry. 

Conclusion

How, as a pastor, can you increase your energy and better manage your time? Delegate your administrative tasks. Find the right software that will multiply your work. And come to the Lord in prayer, so that he can carry your burdens and become the fuel for your ministry. 

Show Notes

Read the full blog of this episode here: https://get.tithe.ly/blog/pastor-time-management

Today on Modern Church Leader, Tithe.ly CEO Dean Sweetman offers three tried and tested time management hacks that help pastors prioritize people and find fuel for their ministry. 

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3 Time Management Hacks Every Pastor Should Be Using