GUEST POST: Does Your To-Do List Match Your Youth Ministry Priorities?

We all have plenty of projects that are due sooner than we can manage. Your submission for the newsletter was due yesterday, you still need volunteers for the fundraiser dinner, and yes, you’ve still got 67 unread emails.

Youth Ministry To Do List

That’s why it’s so easy to spend eight hours blowing through a to-do list that doesn’t do too much to further the Kingdom.

You already know that the time you spend directly with students and volunteers represents the most significant impact you can make. But how much of those things wind up in your day planner?

How many get put off until a day that’s less busy, even though we both know that less busy days almost never happen?

If your to-do list is filled with items that don’t line up with your ministry’s priorities, it’s time to make some changes.

Say no.

If you don’t have time to build relationships with your people, you are certainly not in a place where you can pick up new projects. Don’t.


Nothing is more important than real, actual, honest-to-God ministry. If ministry is no longer a part of your ministry, then you might need to stop doing something else altogether.

Tell someone.

It’s likely that your agenda is bogged down with at least a few meetings and engagements that might seem unnecessary. If you are spending all of your time merely talking about ministry, it might be time for a schedule readjustment.

(Hey, you know your Senior Pastor better than I do. If you know that you’ll get in trouble for trying to skip a meeting, use your own judgment.)

The most important part of your ministry is ministry. If you’re struggling to find time for that, it’s time to make a real shift in the way you operate.

I hope you will…

Aaron Helman is on a mission to help end the epidemic of youth worker burnout. He writes  to help youth workers with their biggest frustrations – things like setting priorities and managing time. He is also the youth minister at Firehouse Youth Ministries in South Bend, Indiana.

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  • philbell

    Thanks for sharing Aaron! Super practical for those of us who have a tendency to be people pleasers and are addicted to lists, (that would be me)!

    Phil <

  • Phil Bell

    Super practical stuff Aaron! Thanks for sharing this! For people like me who have a tendency to be tied to lists, I need to be reminded of my priorities and match them up with my to do list. I often find that the most important things on my to do list take longer to check off than the least important. While I can blow through the least important, my effectiveness is not where it should be…