Yesterday, we introduced the concept of the pause point. A term borrowed from the airline industry, pause points determine when checklists are run. Related specifically to pause points, two different types of checklists exists. These checklists are either:

  • Read-Do Checklist
  • Do-Confirm Checklist

So, when you’re creating a new checklist for your ministry you should follow these steps (see, even this blog post is a checklist):

  1. Define a pause point
  2. Determine if the list following the pause point is Read-Do or Read-Confirm


For the purpose of this post, I’d like to spend some time unpacking specific ministry moments (pause points) that would lend towards a READ-DO checklist.

First, what is a READ-DO checklist? Good question. A recipe is a perfect example of a READ-DO list that almost all of us have some experience with. When you are reading or following a recipe, you move down the list of ingredients and instructions one-by-one, completing and checking them off before moving on to the next. Our daily to-do lists might also be considered a READ-DO check list.

Concerning ministry matters, the situations, events, and programming where a READ-DO checklist would be most beneficial are:

  • Child Dedication Class preparation
  • Baptism Preparation
  • Camps (registration, check-in, paperwork like medical releases, packing lists etc.)
  • Setting up ProPresenter for Sunday programming
  • Classroom set-up
  • Weekly volunteer communication

Need some more examples. Go to the Checklist Resource Page to download dozens of sample checklists.

Pause points for these kinds of checklists might occur before the event or in the weeks/days leading up to a program. An event, like camp might have several Read-Do checklists that keep everyone on track. Imagine:

Six months out

  • Book Transportation
  • Launch Registration
  • Recruit Volunteers/Leaders

One month out 

  • Purchase supplies
  • Re-confirm Transportation
  • Order shirts
  • Assign sleeping arrangements

One week out

  • Organized check-in process
  • Send parent details/packing list/final schedule
  • Purchase leader snacks/drinks

The checklist should be simple and to the point as well as easy to read. Read-Do checklists are quick and simple tools aimed to reinforce and aid in the skills of your staff, leaders and volunteers while also ensuring the quality and consistency of your program.

Consider the programming pieces of your ministry. Where would your staff, your volunteers, or your even your students and parents benefit from utilizing a pause point to follow a short READ-DO checklist? Unless the moment is clear, like a fire alarm sounding (refer to the evacuation checklist in your Volunteer Handbook or hanging in your environments) I would encourage you to identify those moments and make the most of them with your own Read-Do list!


This post is part of a larger series on moving your ministry forward using the often neglected tool - the checklist. In this series, we unpack how a system of checklists can actually help us take our ministry to new levels. Plus, we want to share dozens of actual ministry checklists you and your team can implement right away. Click on the link below to explore this topic and pick up some helpful resources!