Pop-Tarts. They’ve become a normal part of my morning recently. I feel like I’m always running out of time, and Pop-Tarts work great for a quick bite as I’m running out the door to get to one of my jobs. Plus, I like to think that they count as my helping of fruit for the day.
Running around like crazy has also become a normal part of my life (even more so than before). I blogged a couple days ago about the challenges of working 3 jobs on top of teaching, planting a church, and having a family (and a life). Although it’s a bit crazy, I’ve learned some important lessons about doing ministry on the move…
1. Budget my time.I’ve learned that time is like money – it must be budgeted. Just like money, you can run out of time (I find myself short on both all the time!). Although I know it’s not a healthy routine, I’ve gotten accustomed to not sleeping much (I know this isn’t permanent). My ability to stay up late and wake up early won’t last forever, so I take advantage of it now. It’s certainly not torture – most of the time when I’m up late or early, I’m studying the Bible. I live for that. Budgeting time is a challenge. My mind works on a schedule, so I have to mentally set aside time to study, work on graphic design for work, etc. Sunday is like my allowance from when I was a kid – I get to be a bit irresponsible with it. I can blow Sundays on sleeping in, playing with the girls, taking a nap, and other things that I usually don’t have time for during the week. Sunday is like my energy boost for the week. No wonder God commanded us to take a rest!
2. Every place can be a study place (almost).
I really wish I would have kept track of all the places I’ve studied. I’ve never done it in as many random places as I have since I moved here. In Albuquerque, studying was the main part of my job – I got paid to do it! One day I’ll get paid to do it out here, but for now, as the church grows, it’s more on a volunteer basis, which makes it a bit more interesting. There have been quite a few times where I’ve found myself sitting somewhere when I could have been studying in prep for my next teaching, so I come prepared now. When I get home on Wednesday night after church, I print out my text for Saturday, so that I have it with me for the next couple days. Same thing on Saturday night – I print my text for Wednesday. If I have what I’ll be teaching on paper, my earbuds, and my computer (with my full Libronix library that also syncs to my iPhone), I’m set. I can turn any place into a study zone. Here’s a short list of some places I’ve studied in prep to teach (just to name a few): the bus driver lounge at work, a donut shop, countless coffee shops, row 3 of an empty school bus, a hospital cafeteria at 2am (after Jenn gave birth to Adalyn), a Jiffy Lube waiting area, a noisy charter bus headed to a winter retreat, many airplanes, and currently in the waiting room at the mechanic’s shop while my truck gets fixed. My goal is to be like a Gospel Cub Scout: prepared for anything!
3. Ministry happens everywhere.
This has been a revolutionary concept that has lived itself out in my life (finally) in many different ways. As I’ve been teaching through Acts on Wednesday nights, one things that stood out to me a lot was the disciples’ boldness to take advantage of any opportunity. Peter preached to the Jewish leaders when he was arrested, a crowd as they gathered at Pentecost, another crowd that gathered after a miracle, just to mention a few. Stephen did the same thing. Phillip did the same thing. So why wasn’t Kevin doing the same thing? I knew that ministry could take place anywhere, but I wasn’t living like I knew it. So, I challenged the people at Awaken (mainly myself) to go out of our way to create opportunities for the Gospel. As I did that, my eyes opened to the opportunities that were everywhere. I’ve shared my faith with many different bus drivers as we drove around town picking kids up. The other day, I talked to a co-worker about her life and some struggles she was dealing with as we sat in the bus driver lounge with other drivers while they watched Oprah! As she cried, Oprah’s crowd cheered. Or maybe it was Ellen. They’re all the same to me. I’ve shared with people at coffee shops, on street corners, in restaurants, and even the cashier at Walmart. Since there are hurting people everywhere, ministry can happen everywhere.
What creative places have you studied or prepped to teach?
Which unique places have you gotten to share your faith?