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3 Things to do this December

17 Dec Spiritual Formation | Comments Off on 3 Things to do this December
3 Things to do this December
 

Our church calendars always seem to follow a rhythm, don’t they?

There’s a big push in August to get things up and rolling, a big event midyear to keep momentum churning, and a hectic April as we try to wrap up the school year, end growth groups well, and find interns for the summer. While your particular rhythm might look a bit different, it probably feels very similar.

In light of these annual rhythms, let me ask you a question: What does December look like for you? Chances are for most of us, December is filled with special church-wide events, celebrations, etc. It’s a ramped up step-away from normal routines: lots of fun and special memories, but also an easy time to forget about our regular routines of ministry. From time to time, in all that Holiday busyness, some important “behind the scenes” elements can go overlooked.

That’s why I’ve gotten in the habit of making sure I do three specific things every December.

These three things help me close out the year and prepare for the year ahead. They’re relatively simple tasks that make sure I don’t get caught off-guard come springtime.

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1. Take time to say, “Thanks”

First, I appreciate the volunteers that serve in my ministry area in two ways. I take time to write each volunteer a Christmas card, thanking them in very specific ways for serving and impacting students. The other way I say ‘thank you’ is by giving them time off from the ministry. December, more than any other month, gets packed with parties, events, and places to be. So, I shut down the ministry for at least two weeks around the holidays. This gives them margin to be with their families and rest. If you’re a gift giver, you can certainly consider adding a small gift, but I have found that a carefully written note and space to rest is gladly received.

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2. Double Check for Safety

The next thing I do is check my records to ensure that every volunteer has up to date background check. In my current context, we background check every volunteer before they start, and then every three years. Most ministries are good at background checking volunteers when sign up, but usually forget to maintain those records. Whether we want to think it or not, our volunteers may have a criminal offense that we don’t find out about. By going through your records every December, you can ensure that someone who shouldn’t be working with minors doesn’t slip through the cracks. If you are looking for an affordable, quality background check provider, I highly recommend Protect My Ministry.

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3. De-clutter your Desktops

Finally, I take the time to clean up all of my paper and electronic files. Specially, I clean up and organize my emails, filing cabinet, books shelves, and office. I view it as my December ‘spring cleaning.’ Though it takes me a few days to get this done, I love walking back into my office after the New Year holiday and getting back to work in a clean space.

So if you find yourself with a couple free hours in the office this December, let me encourage you to take the time to do one, two, or all three of these simple “to do’s.” It’ll provide you with some peace of mind and help you start off 2014 in a healthy way.

 

Josh Rhodes
NextGen Pastor at LCBC Church
Josh is the Next Steps Director at LCBC Church, York Campus. Prior to LCBC, he served at Chestnut Ridge Church in Morgantown, WV. Josh received a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies and Youth Ministries from Lancaster Bible College, and a Master of Arts in Theology from Biblical Seminary. He and his wife Hillary live in Lancaster with their three children - Sephora, Levi, and Pierce.