Every so often we dip our toes into a series called Danny Recommends:, posts that tip you off to the stuff that I…you know. The recommendations might be products for use in your ministry, resources that will help you develop leaders around you, or just fun stuff that you need. Want. Whatever. I have a full list of recommended books and such over at the Reading List, but these posts will go into further detail. For other posts in the series, check out the link at the bottom.
As the classic 80’s ballad goes, Everybody’s working for the weekend. Except for those of us in ministry, who are typically working on the weekend. And if you’re gonna work on the weekend, you need an arsenal of tools to help you get through your Sunday, or Saturday, or whatever combo you might choose.
The following tools are not at all theological or doctrinal in nature. Nope, they’re purely practical. But I’ve toted some variation of these things over the years, and I commend this list to you. Whether you’re the toter for all of these things or you designate a totee, this stuff needs to get toted.
30,000 foot checklist. Weekends are my weakness. I tend to get so tunnel-visioned in tasks that I forget all about touch. I forget to “walk slowly through the crowd” as Ronnie Floyd says, and at the end of the morning, I have little relational collateral to show for it. So for those of us who live and die by our checklists, it’s helpful to hold ourselves accountable to why we showed up. As shepherds, our goal is to care for the sheep. For several years I carried a small index card with a list of questions in my pocket. A quick Sunday morning review reminded me of the important parts of ministry, such as: Did you meet / speak to someone new? Did you pray with anyone? Did you encourage someone? Did you walk around? Did you thank a volunteer? These questions helped me to prioritize my morning.
On-the-ground checklist. 30,000 feet is important, but the practical work of ministry has to happen as well. Keeping another list of the “have-tos” will help you keep your sanity and keep you from forgetting the crucial items. But the biggest reason to have an on-the-ground checklist? It frees you. Reducing your practical tasks to a template will allow you to “trust the sheet,” therefore giving you more mental and emotional energy to pay attention to people, not performance.
Notepad. In our digital age, we all have our favorite note-taking apps on our phones. However, sometimes nothing beats pen and paper. When you need to jot a quick note or write down a volunteer’s request, fumbling with your phone is effective approximately 0% of the time. And besides, once you pull out your phone, that church member can’t be sure if you’re writing down their prayer request or checking Twitter. You can always transfer those notes to your computer later.
Business cards. Whether this is your full-time gig or you’re just a high capacity volunteer, spend a few bucks and get your name and email address printed on a few hundred cards. You will save yourself countless minutes (and keep people from guessing your chicken-scratch) if someone needs to contact you or follow up later in the week. Pro-tip: don’t try to get fancy on the back side of the card. That white space is invaluable to jot down key information you need to hand off.
Tally counter. Parking spaces. Auditorium seats. Second graders. Number of Chris Tomlin songs your worship leader butchers. We all have things we need to keep count of. I’ve found the Tally Counter app for iPhone to be an effective tool, but the good old fashioned kind works great, too.
Squeegee. Your church restrooms say a lot about your stewardship of your facilities. A filthy restroom can serve as a major distraction for your guests. And yes – flushing the toilets and picking up errant paper towels and making sure the TP is stocked is important. But a soaking wet countertop is gross. Invest in a cheap squeegee and hang it in an out-of-the-way spot for a quick fix up.
Carpet sweeper / lobby dust pan. Unleash your inner fast food employee by making a walk around your facilities before and between services, taking care of wayward Goldfish crackers and discarded bulletins. Pick up your trash, kids.
Trash grabber and 5 gallon bucket. What’s good for the inside is great for the outside. Don’t just order one of these. Buy a dozen and deploy your parking team, sidewalk team, and staffers to keep your flowerbeds and parking lot pristine. In the ultimate nerd talk, I will let you in on the fact that this is my preferred model. I have one at church and at home. Boom.
What else do you keep in your weekend tool arsenal? Comment below.
Disclaimer: FTC watchdogs will probably want to know that the companies listed / linked above did not ask for this endorsement, nor did they provide me with free swag in order to do so. I’m just a really satisfied customer who wants to let you know where you can get some great products. So there. Further, if you order a resource from a link on this page, I may receive a small affiliate commission from Amazon. If that bugs you, feel free to bypass my link and buy from a vendor of your choice. But still: buy it. I only promote items that have benefitted me and that I believe will benefit you.