Assorted Thoughts About The Design and Non-Design Elements of Ministry Work

Some parts of ministry work are design: sermon preparation, planning a youth gathering, making a meeting agenda. These pieces require creative thought. They demand a minimum of undisturbed time.

Other parts of ministry work are not design. Submitting receipts. Updating rosters.

There are things I enjoy about both the design and the non-design parts of ministry work. There are things I dread about both of them too. The ratio of each that I’m doing at any given time is an important signal, I’ve learned.

If I’m filling my to-do list with mostly non-design tasks, I’m tired and feeling ineffective. I want a checked-box induced energy boost.

I’m learning to treat more projects as design than not. The annual calendar, for example, needs a sensitivity to the range of experiences being offered, the space they have between one another, and the non-calendar forces affecting them. It’s design, not simply the plugging in of events on dates.

This week I need to design components for a worship service, a wedding, a discussion guide for Confirmation, and a junior high youth group gathering, and I’m all out of checked boxes.

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