We’ve all been there. We tell a student to meet us at a certain time. We arrive early just in case. They arrive late just because. There can easily be 30 minutes to an hour of idle time waiting for appointments in ministry.
My first instinct to to pull out my phone and check my social media feeds (but I just did that 10 minutes ago, so nothing really has happened since then). My second instinct is to play a game on my phone. I tend to lean toward quick puzzles.
What if we turned those idle minutes into productive moments? Instead of turning to social media time wastes we could knock a few things off our to do list. Here are a few things I do when I am waiting for a student to show up:
1. Write a blog post! I’m currently writing this on my phone in a mall food court. With note apps it’s really easy to get some writing done.
2. Do some ethnography. In other words people watch. Thanks to Adam Mclane for challenging me to make observations of the people in my community. What do people wear or carry with them? What shopping bags are they carrying? What conversations do you hear? These are all great tools for lesson illustrations and cultural observation.
3. Make some needed phone calls. Is there an event you need to book for? Is there a person who needs a call back? Use your idle time to check these off your list.
4. Read/Memorize scripture. Duh! This is a no brainer. Fill your time by filling your mind with the scripture. It’s one thing we can easily neglect in our busy schedule, but we shouldn’t.
5. Do graphics work. Last October David Hausknecht introduced me to two apps called Over and Phoster. He uses them to make slides and cool Instagram photos.
There you have it. It’s time to make idle time into productive time. My student just showed up so I better get going…
Kevin Libick is a Middle School Pastor living in Fort Worth, TX with his wife Kara and her two cats. He is a novice banjo picker and expert Hawaiian food eater. Kevin loves to connect with other youth workers and equip them to live out their calling in God’s Kingdom. Kevin loves to connect with and empower youth workers. Connect with Kevin on Twitter: @kevinlibick