#4 Put First Things First (Ephesians 5:15-17)
Time is a limited commodity. There is always more to do, than there is time to do it. One of the most challenging things we face in ministry is deciding how we will spend our time. Each day, we must decide what our most important priorities will be, and focus on them.
As Paul writes in Ephesians 5:16 we should make the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. There are temptations on every side, some are clearly immoral (as Paul writes about in the previous verses), while others are seemingly more benign. While we are correct in thinking that the big temptations will take us down, we must not be fooled into miscalculating the consequences of misappropriated time.
What are the things that we must spend our time doing? First, obviously time in communion with God is of utmost importance. Just as Christ would retreat to spend time reorienting himself by speaking to his Father (Mt. 14:13), we must do the same. If Jesus needed alone time with the Father, so do we.
Secondly, we need to keep in mind that one of the best things we can do in student ministry is spending time with students. I know…rocket science right? Yet, the tyranny of the urgent can often drive us to working on things that ultimately make little difference in the lives of students. No single thing will ever have greater influence than life-on-life investment.
Coupled with that, is the need to spend time developing a skillful team of adults to invest in students. If you have not realized it yet, we cannot do it all. We must have capable, loving adults who are committed to caring for students. Equipping and empowering a team of qualified adults in student ministry is one of the key things that will create a “Sane” Youth Ministry.