Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Full Plate

Dear Jocelyn,
I recently accepted a leadership position in my church. Prior to accepting the position, I asked several specific questions about what the time committment and responsibilities would be. I expected the actual responsibilities and time commitment would be slightly different than those expressed, however it seems like new things keep getting added to my plate. How can I go about addressing this situation? I don't mind helping out and being involved in my church, but I also don't have an unlimited supply of time and can't simply add things to my already packed schedule.

Dear Overloaded,
It is time for you to regress to your toddler years, and learn to enjoy saying "No!" again. Before the situation gets out of control, meet with whoever is above you (an elder or pastor) and tell him you love helping out, but you either need more volunteers or you will simply have to say no to some of the responsibilities. Next, find some helpers and delegate, delegate, delegate! Put someone in charge of the event they asked you to organize, or find someone to oversee some of the tasks your church assigned you. If you find this is simply impossible to do, then make a list of the most important things you do. Figure out how many you have time for, and then draw a line underneath the last one. Anything above the line goes into your schedule, and anything below the line gets cut. Far too many church workers become burned out and overused, and stop helping altogether. Before this happens, learn to limit the demands placed upon you by the church, and you will find that you are able to stay involved (at some level) for years to come.

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