One of your pastor’s many jobs is making sure that all the employees are good stewards of the church’s resources. So he should want to know how your spending your time while you’re “on the clock” (without having to punch a clock) – if the church is paying you, you should be accountable for your time. That’s easy to do when you’re in your office or running a program, but that’s a lot harder to do when you’re out doing relational ministry.
So the question becomes: “How do you keep your pastor in the loop with the time you spend out doing ministry?”
After years of experience (and countless failures at this), I’ve got three helpful tips for you:
1. Track Your Time
It is incredibly important for you to track your time. (Especially if you have a pastor who’s not totally on board with that model.) Keep a detailed record of what you did, how much time you spent, how many teens you interacted with, how many new teens you met, and how much money you spent (If you have a budget, this last step is obviously crucial. But if you don’t, it’s equally as crucial because it will help you request/justify a relational ministry budget in the future.)
2. Communicate The Results
Tell your pastor (and other staff) about the great things that are coming out of your relational time. Tell him about that funny thing that happened. Tell him about that quiet kid who’s finally starting to open up. Tell him about the new students you’ve met. Tell him about the God experiences they share when they’re outside the church environment. Tell him about leadership potential you see in specific teens. Give him a glimpse into the STORY that’s unfolding, not just the STATS.
3. Share Your Schedule
When you’re doing ministry “out of the office”, make sure you’re posting your schedule – where you’re going, what you’re doing and when you’ll be back. Make sure the pastor knows, but more importantly make sure the parish secretary/receptionist knows. When people call or come by looking for you, you want her to say things like “He’s out spending time with our teens” or “He’s doing ministry at the high school today” instead of “He’s not here, he’s never here. I don’t know why we even pay that kid.”
Be Proactive Not Reactive
For all three of these, starting doing them now. Track your time and report it to your pastor regularly (maybe shoot him a weekly email). Make sharing stories of your ministry successes part of your conversations with your pastor (hopefully you guys meet on a somewhat regular basis). And start keeping everyone in the loop by posting your schedule (and printing out a copy just for the receptionist). Start doing it now, and you’ll avoid having to justify it later.
What about you: do you have any tips for reporting your relational ministry to your pastor?