What Seinfeld Has Taught Me About Being on Time

I love Seinfeld!  I have seen every episode at least 10 times, and that is a very low-ball estimate.  I stopped counting at ten because I felt it was overkill to continue to count my obsession.  Having been born in 1987, I missed the Seinfeld craze when it was actually taking place, but it was my brother-in-law John who got me hooked on the show.  I don’t know what it is about the show itself that keeps me coming back for more.  However, I think the show’s audience appreciates the fact that they have been in that situation before.  I can sit back and watch an episode of Seinfeld and laugh at a common circumstance that one of their hyperbolic characters is dealing with, and today I can relate most to Kramer in the episode called, “The Cadillac.”

As you can see, Kramer is frustrated by the fact that the cable company never seems to be able to show up when they say they will show up and so he sets out to make the cable company wait on him.  Well here I sit waiting on the cable company to install our internet, thinking about Seinfeld, and then thinking about how this all fits into the big picture of our ministry.

The fact of the matter is that people’s time is precious.  Time is something that you can never get back and once time has been wasted it will remain that way forever in history.   I can’t tell you how frustrating it is when you are having a really productive day and then a person trying to sell me something over the phone ruins my productivity and wastes a 20 minute block that could’ve been utilized. As a full-time paid youth worker, it is easy for me to overlook the time that my youth workers put in that they are not getting paid for. It’s easy for me to think hey I’m getting paid to be here so you need to respect me.  However, if I don’t respect their time then why should I expect respect in return?

I work with an awesome team of people, who are committed to pouring into the lives of students. I need to respect and honor our leaders, students, and students’ families’ time.  This means any time we have youth group, leaders’ meetings, activities, etc. I need to make sure that I am taking the right steps to build and maintain trust:

  1. Be prepared – never come into a scheduled meeting unprepared to cover what you want to cover.  If you are asking your leaders to take their personal time out for a meeting, make it worth their personal time.
  2. Be concise – this is something that I struggle with.  I have a lot of information that I want to communicate and when you only meet once a month, there is a lot to talk about.  However, we need to make sure that we stick to what is important.
  3. Be aware of the time – this means, be aware of the time you start the meeting and end the meeting.  You need to know when it’s time to get going and when it’s time to start wrapping things up, even if you have to cut something you had to say short.
  4. Be memorable – Leave a lasting impression on the people when they leave your meeting space.  The more planning you put into your meetings the more effective you are going to be at leaving a memory.  Go out on a high note, rather than dragging everything out.(George’s Example of Being Memorable)
The fact is that people are on a schedule (Thank You Google Calendar).  People have things to do and places to be, and we are just one blip on the schedule of someone’s day.  We want to make that blip memorable for the right reasons and not for the wrong ones.  I will remember today as the day we thought we would have internet at noon and still don’t have it at 10:00pm.  Be prepared, be concise, be aware, and be memorable.

We don’t want people wasting your time, so why do we waste others’?



About onebeatblog

Our purpose is to equip, empower, and encourage those involved in student ministry!

Posted on November 7, 2011, in Christian Living and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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