As volunteers and bi-vocational children’s ministers, one of the things we all struggle with is finding enough time to get everything done. I know that one place I used to waste a lot of my time was commuting back and forth to work. Then I decided that that didn’t have to be wasted time. There are plenty of ways you can redeem your drive time and get things accomplished all at the same time. Before we get to that though, here are some things I have seen people doing while driving which I would not suggest you try:
- Checking E-mail
- Putting on makeup
- Doing your hair
- Reading a book
- Eating cereal
- Watching TV
If you do any of these things, and I’m guessing we all have at one point or another, I suggest you stop now.
Now, with that unpleasantness out of the way, here are some things that I have started to do redeem my drive time. These help to make the time more profitable to me and hopefully more honoring to God:
1. Listen to Podcasts
I am a bit of a Podcast junkie. I have a long list of podcasts of sermons, children’s ministry podcasts, leadership podcasts, and more than I listen to on a daily and weekly basis. Most of this is done in my car. It makes the drive go quicker, and I get to learn something in the meantime.
Turn everything in the car off and use the time to connect with God. Some of the best prayer times I have ever had were in the privacy of my truck. You can never pray enough, and praying is a much better use of your time than listening to some talk show. By the way, I wouldn’t suggest closing your eyes is you go this route (pun intended).
There is little I enjoy more than jamming to some great worship music in the car. I love to turn on my IPod, turn it up really loud (no so loud that I can’t hear sirens, etc.) and connect with my God. I can only imagine what the people who are driving by must think, but it isn’t about them – It’s about God! And, he does tell us that he chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise.
4. Make a To Do List
I don’t suggest a pen and paper, but most phones have a microphone and the ability to record yourself. Use your time behind the wheel to record a list of things you need to get done. You can add it to your IPhone or planner when you get home.
5. Practice Your Children’s Ministry Message for the Weekend
If you’re comfortable with your lesson already, take the time to run through it out loud and listen for any tweaks you want to make. If you’re still trying to learn the lesson, record it so you can listen to it in the car. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Most computers have a built in microphone these days. Just records yourself reading through your lesson and burn it to a CD (or put it on your IPod). The more times you listen to it, the more comfortable you will be with it come Saturday or Sunday.
6. Think and Dream
I love kids. I have four of them myself, and I spend a good amount of time with other people’s kids during the week. Like many of us in children’s ministry, I enjoy noise (it turns our there are a lot of adults who do not). Anyhow, I don’t get a lot of quiet time, and oftentimes my drive is the only quiet time I get during the week. Take advantage of that time to reflect, think and dream. What had God put on your heart? How is your relationship with family and friends? How can you make your children’s ministry better? What vision does God have for your life and your ministry?
7. Make Phone Calls
I borrowed this one from Brother Jim Wideman. He uses his drive time to return and make any phone calls that need to be made that day. What a great way to get something done so you won’t have to attend to it later in the day!
8. Listen to a Book
I am also an avid reader. However, there are books that I just can’t seem to find the time to read them. Listening to them on the way to and from work is sometimes the only way I will ever get to them.