As you can tell from some of our previous posts, my wife and I can get addicted to random shows that happen to have marathons going on at the present time. We will watch anything from Hoarders, to American Pickers, to Clean House, to Curb Appeal, to My First Place (which just so happens to be the marathon of choice for today). However, I used to love the show Clean House, because the hosts would go into someone’s house, hold a yard sale to help the owners get rid of excess junk, and then help them reorganize their lives.
Today in many ways I felt just like these professional organizers, as I embarked to begin the journey of cleaning my own home. We don’t live with a bunch of junk, rather, I am just the opposite. I am an anti-hoarder and like to purge and clear out things that I don’t think we need. I’m sorry if you’ve given me cards in the past, but they’ve probably ended up in the trash. Where Alicia will hold on to precious memories, I am just not the sentimental type. I read the card and then that’s that. There is a time and place for both of these mentalities but I write this post to encourage you to clean house in the very practical sense of cleaning your office. The fact is that we have family coming into town on Thursday and so my day off was spent mopping, clean the last of our Christmas stuff up, emptying the dishwasher, and scrubbing toilets! These were all things that needed to be done, yet hadn’t been.
Many of us who work full-time in ministry, will spend a better portion of our time sitting in our office. I have decorated my office in such a way so that it feels more like home than a cinder-block walled basement office. However, if I don’t tend to my office, things start to pile up.
Between the school sports schedules, sermon notes, sticky notes, incoming mail, event planner forms, my bible, a stapler, a lamp, and my multiple coffee mugs, my desk can very quickly become cluttered and make working very difficult. As my office gets cluttered, so my mind begin to become cluttered. That overflowing trash can, dusty bookshelf, and messed up couch slip cover start to become the foremost things on my mind rather than the ministry at hand. With all this said I want to give you a few practical tips to cleaning your office or why you should clean your office.
- A Messy Office Loses Respect: This may sound like an outrageous claim, but think about it. I know when I walk into an office that is clean and put together, I feel like the person that I’m dealing with is probably going to be the same way. However, there are many times that I have walked into an office with papers everywhere, a desk calendar with coffee stains that hasn’t been flipped in months, and an awkward family photo on the wall that looks like something out of the 70s. This picture does not fill me with a lot of confidence that I am going to be treated professionally. The appearance of your office will speak for you before a word ever leaves your mouth.
Schedule Time To Clean: Many families will make a chore chart for their children. The reason we do this is because left to their own devices, children will not do their chores. Those people who say that humanity is good need only to look at our unsupervisedtendencies to realize our sin nature is very real! However, cleaning your office really doesn’t take that long. Every week, I spend my last 15 to 30 minutes of Friday cleaning and organizing my office for the next week. I clean out all of those coffee cups that I have used, fix my slip cover on the couch, clean up paperwork, and prep my coffee pot to be used again on the next workday. Cleaning doesn’t take much but if you schedule for it, you are more likely to do it.
- Kills the “Youth Pastor” Stereotype: I hate that some youth pastors have given all of the rest a bad name. People think of our offices as a place where we accumulate all of our leftover stuff from events. I have fallen victim to this more than once in my short time at LAC and then kicked myself for it later. There are a lot of stereotypes about youth pastors and I am begging you to help me break the stereotypes that have plagued youth pastors since the beginning!
- Clean = Efficient: I know that you know where everything in your office is, but that doesn’t mean that a clean office wouldn’t be a more efficient office. If ever there was a time that you needed someone to get something for you, don’t you think it would be so much easier to go through a filing cabinet that has been labeled that to go through your piles of receipts, papers, and old lift tickets from that ski trip? The more organized you are, the easier it is to manage the tasks you have at hand and optimize the ministry time that you have. Sometimes it is necessary for youth pastors to pull 70 hour work weeks, but I would venture to say that the more organized you are, the less long weeks you are going to be required to pull.
I want your ministry to succeed because the better you are at what you do, the more students we can see led to Christ. Sometimes it is necessary to clean house and keep ourselves organized and efficient in our ministry!
Posted on January 23, 2012, in Leadership and tagged Christianity, Church, Church Ministry, Clean House, Cleaning, Family Ministry, Leadership, Pastor, Religion, Student Ministry, Youth Ministry, Youth Pastor, Youth Work. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.