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Boundaries for Part-Time Ministry

9 steps to set healthy limits

3. Get a Job Description

If you don’t have a job description, get one. If there isn’t one, interview your boss, and create one for yourself. If you’re creating a new document, you have the opportunity to speak into it and say what you can and cannot realistically accomplish. If you don’t know the parameters of your job, there’s a good chance you feel your job is much bigger than it is. You may also be in a weak position when saying no to requests from others. If you have five coworkers, it’s possible all five have a different understanding of what you’re there to do. So take charge, and make sure you get that description.

4. Prioritize Tasks

Go through your job description and set priorities for all your assigned tasks. Don’t do this arbitrarily—base it on your church’s mission and your personal piece of pursuing that mission. Ask yourself, What is this church here for? and What was I hired to do? Then identify the most important elements of your job description, based on highest priority, not on what seems most urgent. You can use this set of priorities to make decisions about where to focus the time you have.

5. Collaborate with Your Boss

Request some time with your boss and come prepared. Go through your job description and tell your boss, honestly and boldly, how much you can realistically accomplish in the hours available to you. Show your prioritized list of duties. Ask for his or her input and participation in determining how you should spend the time you have available. Ask, “What should I focus on?” and “What should I let go or put on the back burner?”

6. Break It Down

Estimate how much time each task should take. Then create a weekly routine for yourself, designate each work period to a particular focus. If training small-group leaders takes two hours per week, designate two hours each week for that task. If visiting with people takes a day of your time, devote a day to it. You can always adapt the plan for the unique needs of any given week, but building a routine with your most important priorities in place ensures that you’ll have time for them.

January31, 2017 at 8:00 AM

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