Visually Planning an Event...

I've been on the job in my new role for about a month now. Staff meetings, mid-week gatherings, Sunday School, discipleship classes, meetings, studying, phone calls, lunch... everything that was a part of my job at my last church when I left was right here waiting on me when I returned to full time ministry.

And of course, like any youth pastor (interim, or not), I've got to plan events.

In fact, the first thing that was handed to me when I accepted the position was a DiscipleNow weekend that was on the schedule for a month from my start date! And the only thing that had been planned was the date! So... I got to work!

The first thing I did was fill my office whiteboard with things I knew I needed to think through. Everything from theme, to who would teach, to worship music, to t shirts, to housing and food. Every step that had to be taken went on the board. And it was all in black.

Next, as I added to or changed or tweaked ideas, I wrote beside them in red. For instance, in black, I wrote "housing". Then next to that, in red, I wrote the names of several families that had volunteered to host students. Get it?

After about two weeks, I began working on the schedule. But, I ran into a problem. I didn't have anymore room on my whiteboard! So, in an act of improvisation, I went into our children's ministry department supply room and secured myself a six and a half foot piece of heavy grade butcher paper and sticky tacked it up on my wall. (I also tested it to make sure nothing would bleed through!) This became the place where everything, schedule-wise, landed. Same principle as the whiteboard. Black first, then red.

But after a while, I found a flaw in my system: Everything was a mess! So many ideas and thoughts written without any flow or organization and in more than one place! This would not do.

You see, I'm a very visual person. In fact, in the congressional voting system of my brain, the eyes have it. (See what I did there?) Because of that, I like to have things that I'm working on in front of me. So I changed the system again.

Here's what I came up with:

(Click to embiggen.)

Every little detail is now in one place. Organized, color coded, and updated with progress every day. Josh, don't you think this is going a little overboard? No I don't, italics. And, I'll tell you why.

This piece of butcher paper is important for a few different reasons:

1) The paper is in my office, with the door always open, for all to see. It allows others to see that things are being processed and thought through. It is also a physical display of what I've spent a month working on. Hopefully, this can aid in building some trust with some.

2) It helps me collect all of my thoughts and needs in one place. For me, as I've mentioned, this is a good thing.

3) Since I'm the Transitional Youth Ministry Team leader, the church is actively searching for a candidate for the full time, permanent position. This paper will serve him, as well as me! If he comes on staff, and has never put on a DiscipleNow before, he'll know exactly how I did it. Planning for the future is a good thing!

So, there you go! Hopefully, this can help you as you plan a little too. If you'd like to know more about how I organized things on the paper, just shoot me an email or leave a comment...


piEces said...

nice work Josh!
you've put alot into DiscipleNow 11, praying it will be an incredible experience for all!

melody said...

very cool. love it! so cool that you have brent as your speaker. hoping dnow is awesome for your students!!