When I became a full-time Kid’s Pastor, I remember those first several years very clearly. Actually, I remember my first two weeks. I remember sitting at my big desk in my very own office wondering what I was supposed to do. Granted, I started the week before Christmas, which is a slower season and I’d never done this as a full-time job. I didn’t have anyone telling me what I should be doing. So I remember pulling out the calendar and planning stuff. Two years into my new role, my schedule was so incredibly stupid. It’s a wonder my wife didn’t leave me.

This is what the year looked like:

  • Sunday Services/Sunday School
  • Mid-Week Programs
  • Snow Blast (3 day winter retreat)
  • Winter Blast (2 hour fun event/games at church)
  • Camp Sonsation: Spring Break (Day Camp)
  • Spring Blast (2 hour fun event/games at church)
  • Camp Sonsation (Eight Weeks of Day Camp for church/community kids)
  • Ultimate Lock-In
  • VBS (five day evening program with Saturday Baptism/Pool Party Extravaganza)
  • 9 Day Kidmin Training Mission Trip to Malaysia
  • Camp XTreme (5 day overnight summer camp for 3rd-5th grade)
  • Camp Not So XTreme (5 day “daycamp” for k-2nd grade)
  • Summer Blast (2 hour fun event/games at church)
  • Back to School Volunteer/Family Appreciation Pool Party
  • Fall Blast (2 hour fun event/games at church)
  • Family Fun Fest (MASSIVE Fall Festival)
  • Baptisms/Baptism Classes

I was 24 years old and I was having the time of my life. Ministry was fulfilling and I feel like I was personally connected to more kids than at any other time in my life.

But I was starting to get tired.

We did a few things with excellence, but several things were mediocre at best (I think one summer, I went to summer camp without having written any of the messages yet). It ended up great, but I didn’t sleep the whole week.

Bottom line, I wasn’t so smart. I’ve learned a few things over the years.

Now, this is what my year looks like:

  • Sunday Services
  • Winter Camp (MLK weekend retreat for 3rd-12th grade)
  • GoTeams (mission/serving trips for 3rd-12 grade)
  • Family BBQ (Back to School)
  • Baptisms/Baptism Classes
  • Child Dedication/Dedication Classes

I’ve done it both ways and here’s the bottom line. I feel more confident about our ability to reach and disciple kids doing less than when I was doing so much. Really.

Doing less means I have far more time to make sure that everything we do is incredible. Doing less means I have far more time to invest in volunteers to ensure they’re truly impacting their kids.

Here’s the funny thing. Now I’m 39 and I’m personally connected to less kids than ever, but I know that I’m impacting far more kids in a more significant way.

It feels like every week I have both parents and volunteers ask me why we don’t do VBS, weekday preschool or other things. I always tell them it’s because we’re hyper focused on the things that we feel are most important. They don’t always understand. I get it, it sound like a copout. Maybe they think I’m lazy. However, I know that we’re better because we do less. We’re having a bigger impact because we do less.

Saying NO is difficult, but saying YES to LESS is better for your kids, better for your families and better for YOUR family.