balancing work

Balancing Summer: Preparing for the Future, Enjoying the Present in Ministry

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Schools in Maryland are letting out for summer which means ALL regularly scheduled programs go out the window. While I'm unsure about your summer situation, in our parish community, people engage in various activities during this time. Some choose to visit the ocean, others participate in summer camps, and some simply take a break from their regular routines. It's tempting to follow suit and do the same. Although we do send our kids to camp and take some much-needed vacation, I've realized over the years that summer shouldn't be a time to completely shut down.

Instead, it should be seen as an opportunity to recover and rejuvenate before the upcoming school year begins. Summer is a distinct season that allows for adjustments and preparations so that we can hit the ground running in the fall.

So, before you stumble into summer consider:


If you're looking to lighten the load on meetings or free up some evenings, that's absolutely fine! Just remember to maintain a regular rhythm where everyone gets a chance to check in. If you're working with your staff, consider scaling back the amount of time you spend in meetings. For teams of volunteers, you can switch to meeting every other time you usually gather.

In addition to adjusting the frequency, why not add a touch of fun and learning to your meetings? You could dedicate some time to discussing a book you've chosen as a summer read or watching a series of videos that offer fresh perspectives on ministry (Need training videos check out MYM Premium HERE). 

Keeping in touch with your team is a fantastic way to invest in their well-being. It's all about spending quality time together and building trust so that when busier seasons roll around, you know you're not alone. Even if it's just you and one other person, it's definitely worth it.


You may already have your events and programs planned for the upcoming year (No worries if you haven't—I'm not there yet either), but how you navigate through those plans makes a significant difference. I often come across ministry leaders who feel overwhelmed and spread too thin throughout the year. The issue is that many of us struggle with effectively managing our time.

Take advantage of the summer to assess the months ahead, outline your weeks, and regain control over the flow of your days. You can use a simple spreadsheet or consider investing in a planner (I highly recommend the Monk Manual, click HERE). While we understand that life is not always predictable, it's crucial not to hesitate when it comes to jotting down and organizing our schedules. Doing so will provide us with a roadmap to refer back to—a guiding light when the ministry rollercoaster begins to pick up speed.


Even if you reside in an area where many people go away during the summer, it's still important to connect with those who remain. Alongside your team, it's essential to find ways to engage with kids, teenagers, and adults. If you have the capacity, consider organizing a simple program. You could host a drop-in Bible study or arrange a meet-up at a local coffee house. Reflect on scripture, explore the lives of saints, or engage in meaningful conversations about life.

If you're concerned about time constraints and overcommitment, try to at least be present during the weekends before and after Mass. Greet people at the doors, linger after the liturgy concludes, and make an effort to learn people's names. You never know who you might encounter or what opportunities may arise from those interactions. Being present, even if only for a few minutes, will bring blessings that will endure in the long run.


Summer is a wonderful time for rest and relaxation, and amidst the tasks to complete before fall, one important item on your to-do list should be taking some time off. We're not talking about a mere long weekend, but rather a full week (or ideally 10 to 14 days) to truly decompress and recharge.

If traveling to a nice destination isn't feasible within your budget, consider embracing a staycation. Engage in projects around the house, explore a hobby you've always wanted to pursue but never had the time for, or simply indulge in much-needed sleep. It's crucial for your mind to disconnect, so make a conscious effort to eliminate emails and all other forms of correspondence from your phone, stow away the laptop, and keep the power cord out of sight. Take a break, allowing yourself to rest and rejuvenate for the road ahead.

While summer may not hold the same carefree atmosphere as it did during our childhood, it still presents an opportunity to balance preparation for the upcoming months with the enjoyment of the present. Remember, this season doesn't require you to work harder, but rather smarter. Use this summer to refocus, recalibrate, and reconnect, all while having fun along the way.

How Do You Find a Balance Between Preparation and Enjoyment During The Summer?

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