According to Merriam-Webster, a sprint is to run or go at top speed, especially for a short distance. A marathon is defined as a long-distance race. A sprint is a race that is completed quickly, where a marathon requires endurance and the ability to keep going even though you may be tired. What does this have to do with the holiday season? If you are on a church staff, you probably already know!
The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for church staff members and volunteers. Not only are you shopping, baking tasty treats, and having get-togethers, but this is the same time that the church calendar is cranking up! But don’t worry! Put on your “running shoes” and get ready for the holiday marathon!
Make adjustments to the church calendar. Every church has services and activities that are good traditions and special to the congregation. Be sure to keep doing those. However, most churches have some activities that have lost their excitement and are not as meaningful as in years past. It’s okay to eliminate those activities from your calendar. The goal is not to overload your calendar with unnecessary activities, but rather offer to try and offer more meaningful ones instead.
Delegating is Key
Don’t be afraid to delegate out different tasks to others. As we talk to others, we may feel inspired and have tons of great ideas that we want to start implementing in our church right away. No church has the energy, time, or resources to do it all. But, if it is a great idea, feel free to enlist others to help organize, plan, and prepare for the activity. Delegating allows everything to be done more efficiently and effectively.
Plan Ahead to Get Ahead
Start planning now how you will follow up with visitors that will be attending special services and activities at your church. Have a plan in place that will allow you to gather contact information for guests. Be sure to follow up and reach out to each new guest that you will have!
Communication Is Crucial
Take time to prepare for all the different forms of communication your church uses. Go ahead and get ahead of the rush. Start writing the copy for your bulletins, social media, newsletters, email announcements, etc. now. Schedule dates and topics for how you will communicate with your church and community. Then write out each post or article (or an outline and rough draft). This will get you ahead of the game and save you time!
Take Care of YOURSELF
It’s super easy to overindulge on sweet treats and snacks during the holidays – that’s okay! Just remember to balance things out by drinking your daily water intake, choosing healthy options when possible, and get plenty of rest.
Make sure to schedule out time for yourself. Be sure to relax and unplug throughout the holiday season. It is a marathon, after all. Be sure to recharge your batteries by allowing yourself time to re-energize. Then you’ll be able to serve your church and make a difference for your community.
Lastly, while this can be a stressful time, keep in mind to always be thankful. A grateful heart is essential for ministry. Be sure to remember and be thankful for each of your blessings. Tell others how much you appreciate their service and ministry in your church.
With a little preparation and planning, you really can do it all! You can enjoy each part of this upcoming season – Christmas music, parties, movies, and yes – cookies! Knowing that you have put in the planning time, you can be confident that all of the concerts, sermons, plays, fellowships, and special services will be a blessing and create special memories for your church, community, and staff members.