In church tech it seems like we are constantly planning. Planning the next event, the next training session, and holidays 6 months from now. We know we need to plan and plan better. Sometimes we plan well. Other times we plan uh…less well (if at all—admit it). The question remains.
When should we plan?
The answer is quite simple.
Planning is best done in advance.
I know, that statement sounds like one of Yogi Berra’s famous quotes:
When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.
Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.
As bluntly obvious as that statement may seem. It is one that gets used quite a lot in part of my life.
I am a Boy Scout leader. Boy Scouts is intended to be boy lead. The problem is that very few of these boys are born as natural leaders. The boys have to learn how to be a leader—sometimes through coaching and many other times through lots of trial and error. Although we provide them with templates and tools to help them plan, there are occasions when the excitement of the pending event or activity derails the planning process.
When we encounter those moments when the plan is missing, incomplete or the boys are planning by the seat of their pants, we slow them down and remind again.
Guys, planning is best done in advance.
As much as they hate hearing this reminder, we are trying to instill the importance of planning what we do. The boys are quite open and honest about their dislike for the planning process. But they get better over time and learn that planning avoids many aggravations later.
Plan the Work, Work the Plan
Just like Boy Scouts need to plan service projects, camping trips, high adventure activities and merit badge activities, those of us in church tech need to plan as well.
Planning in advance allows us to Plan the Work and then Work the Plan (I’m sure you’ve heard that one before). Why is this important?
- Establish the Flow – Planning in advance allows us to think through necessary processes, establish a flow and then review those steps well beforehand.
- Create room for Focus – Following a plan allows us to focus on the necessary tasks at the moment – e.g. adjusting the mix, moving to the next cue or prepping for a set change.
- Maintain Calm – When volunteers are all working from the same plan, everyone knows what is coming next and when. Informed volunteers are happy volunteers.
Although the thought of planning creates anxiety and stress for many of us, spending the time to plan in advance will reduce the anxiety and stress when it matters most—when we are working with volunteers and using our skills to support the ministry of the church.
When has planning helped you?
What steps do you follow to plan?
[Image via Startup Stock Photos]