Evaluating Your Time

As children’s ministry leaders, we believe the most impactful use of our time is to equip parents and volunteers. Yet, the activity we spend the least amount of time actually doing is equipping parents and volunteers. If we can’t create more hours in a day, how do we solve our problem with simply not having enough time? 

You might be tempted to aggressively wipe your calendar and start from scratch. Respectfully, that’s an unnecessary place to start. We simply need to ask the question “How do I spend my time each week?” and create an accurate picture of our current reality. This printable PDF will walk you through a week’s worth of time blocking. Fill it out with brutal honesty on how you currently spend your time, not how you wish you were spending your time. We’ll tackle those hope-filled dreams later.

Begin by reading chapter 5 of The Faith of Our Children. It will help you understand the purpose of the activities. Once you’ve done that, pull out your calendars; grab a pen, pencil or colored markers; and let’s get going. Because, after all, there is no time like the present!!

Exercise: Evaluate Your Time

God gives us all 24 hours a day, 168 hours a week. No doubt we fill them with activities, but doing what? Are we conscious of how we spend each moment? Or when our heads hit our pillows at the end of the day do we wonder what we did with our day and why we’re so tired? Do we wish we had more time for meaningful activities? Let’s answer those questions by evaluating our schedules.

Use this Evaluate Your Time printable as you work through this exercise!

Step 1: How do you spend your time each week?

Using your calendar, fill in every hour of the schedule with your typical activities, from Sunday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Include tasks like picking your kids up from school, working another job, staff meetings, making a meal, visitation, Wordle, volunteer training, weekend prep, social media and more. The more detailed you are, the more you’ll get out of this exercise! If you’d like, use markers to distinguish between different types of activities.

Step 2: What activities take up the majority of your time?

Phew! Did you realize you were involved in so many different things? Now that you’ve filled out your schedule, take a good look at it. What are the top five activities you spend the majority of your time doing each week? In the space provided below, list them; and then next to each, write the number of hours you spend each week doing those things.

Step 3: What areas of your life impact child discipleship?

Look over your schedule again and circle all the times you come alongside of a child to help them grow spiritually. Do those things fall into themes? Which five themes do you spend the most time doing? Write those in the area provided below and note the number of hours per week you spend doing each.

Step 4: What activities would make you a more effective child disciplemaker?

What do your child activity themes reveal? Are you most effective when you’re engaged in your top five? Or are there discipleship activities and themes in your schedule you wish you had time to engage in more often? Are there things you wish you could do, but — I know, you’re probably thinking, Have you seen my schedule?! — you can’t imagine how you could fit them into your life? Well here’s your opportunity to dream. If God gave you endless days with boundless energy, and you were free to fulfill the discipleship desires of your heart, what activities would you do to be more effective at child discipleship? In the space provided, write your top five objectives in order of priority.

You did it; you’ve finished evaluating your time! This was an instrumental exercise to determine how you move forward and create space for what you want to do with your time. Now let’s analyze the gap between what you spend time doing and your desired objectives! Print out the Gap Analysis Exercise, and we will see you in the next exercise.