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Ryan Latham brings some thoughts today about what it takes to plan. He includes a free form below as an example of what it takes for him to plan his Fall schedule.

One of the major reasons that we don’t delegate is because it is so hard to explain to someone all the details of putting together an event.  This leaves us, the youth pastor, DOING EVERYTHING OURSELVES!

A well-written “What It Takes” form will enable you to delegate better, with more effectiveness and more confidence.  Many times youth pastors don’t delegate because they have not gotten all that they know out of their head and onto a form that other people can run with.

Click to view a What It Takes example

Assign point people:

When you think through an event assign point people for each major areas.  For example: if you are running your own summer camp you may want different point people for food, worship, and administration.  Trying to find one person who can oversee all of those areas is very hard.

Set your goals for the event:

This helps keep everyone who is working on the event focused and informed.  When they call for hotel rooms they don’t have to come and ask you how many people they should book for.

Important contact information and links:

A lot of your leaders or volunteers will not know who in the church office is in charge of approving checks, or what paper work needs to be filled out and when.  They may not know that the paperwork is on a denominational webpage.  Contact information and links will save everyone a lot of search time!

Avoid making the same mistakes:

So many times we make the same mistakes over and over again because we don’t write down what the mistake was and we forget to fix it.  One problem that we ran into often was understanding the different types of forms that different camps required.  We would often have to rush to get signatures on an off-day, until we had a well-written “What It Takes” form.

Informed but not over-informed:

Make sure to write down all of the major information that is needed.  The “What It Takes” form should be 1-2 pages, not a 42 page dissertation on your event.  People are smart enough to know that if they need to download forms from the internet then they will need a computer to log onto the internet.  You don’t have to be that detailed.

Start with the end in mind:

Start at the end of the event and think about everything that you had to do and write it down.  Then think back about a timeline that might have been easier or less stressful.  Instead of having to drive over to your pastor’s house to get him to sign the check request, write down a deadline that gives you enough time when he is in the office.

Find a detailed person:

If you look at all this information and feel overwhelmed, then find someone who gets excited about mapping details!  Ask them to help you.  Have them start making the form and then ask you questions throughout the process.  Here is the great news: once you have this form you can use it EVERY YEAR!!!

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