Three Youth Ministry Priorities For Mondays

For many in youth ministry, Monday is their day off.

For others, Friday is their day off.

For some of us, we ask, “what is a day off?”

For me, Monday is a ministry work day and I usually get my day off on Friday. Since Monday is the first day of my ministry work week, I have found it imperative to start the week by focusing on priorities that are time consuming yet a crucial set up to the rest of the week. It should be a given that my soul care should be an everyday priority, but here are three practical priorities I focus on most Mondays.

1) Message Writing: First thing Monday morning I find my usual spot in Starbucks, plug in my headphones, and start message writing until early afternoon. I am usually working a week ahead in my messages and finishing off my current weekly message. (I often speak twice a week, so it can be a hefty message writing morning).

2) Planning: Monday afternoons are spent planning programs, events, and message series. (I usually am working 3-6 months ahead).

3) Email and Task List: Before my day is done I clear as much email as I can, create new task lists (I use google tasks), and try to create a plan for the rest of the week and the tasks I need to get done. It’s important to ‘clear the decks’ before Tuesday gets here…

You’ll notice that there are no meetings with students, leaders, or other staff members. For me, Mondays are my day to hide away and get great messages written, make good plans, and get caught up on email. The rest of week includes a great deal of contact time where I get to invest in students and leaders.

For me, it’s important to have one day per week when I can hide away and get a large chunk of message writing and planning done.

How about you? Do you have a day like this? What is your day off? What do Mondays look like for you?

Phil <><

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  • Jeremy Smith

    I’d be interested to see how the rest of your week is laid out also as well as a different viewpoint from the other writers!

  • Phil Steiner

    Hi Phil,
    Great post and very encouraging for me on this Monday. I love seeing how other people structure their week for ministry.


  • Scott Tinman


    Great post…almost deja vu for me as that is the rhythm that I have gotten into for the start of my week and using Monday as a Study Day at a local coffee shop. I have actually another Youthworker here in town that we sometimes are at the same place and sit at the same table and work together but yet not talk to each other much..except maybe when we grab something to eat together during a break in our day. Been a challenge at times to guard this day…and when I don’t throws off the rest of the week.

  • Phil Bell

    great feedback. Maybe I’ll post that in the coming weeks? Would you like to guest post your schedule too? Let me know?

    Hey Phil, (great name)!
    Thanks for the encouraging feedback!

    It’s great to have those places to hideaway. I also get so many opportunities to reach out the staff there and the locals who come in regularly and have gotten to know me. Headphones are vital to tune out and tune into my message writing. My next goal is to get noise canceling ones…

    Phil <

  • Scott Tinman

    Phil…got some of the noise canceling ones and they are great…not only building relationships with baristas but also the locals like you said…almost feels like Cheers…except a coffee shop that knows your name :)

  • Phil Bell

    Scott! Cheers! Brilliant!

    Phil <

  • Tom Shriver

    Awesome, Phil. I take Mondays as my day off and use Tuesdays to get out my newsletter, make phone calls to families, reach out to youth who missed Sunday night, send my confirmation outline, check e-mail, etc…I love the idea here, though. I may start making Wednesdays my “message day” and stay away from everything else.

  • Phil Bell

    Tom, I read a great book called ‘Eat That Frog’ By Tracy. It talks about making a priority of the biggest most challenging parts of your week first. For me, it’s easy to check off the easy tasks quickly and be left with a few big tasks that I procrastinate on. When I get my message writing, planning, and admin done first, it makes way for focused time with people, and allows me to breathe easier the rest of the week… This really works for me. It’s not for everyone… :-)

    Phil <><

  • Jodibohn

    What is a day off? And how do you work so far ahead? I am barely keeping my head above water. My day hidden away is Wednesday because I have to hide away to finish me message for that night. :)