Down To The Wire: How to avoid high pressure situations

Last night I watched the Ravens vs. Texans…what a game!  Even though I live in Baltimore I have no interest in the Ravens, I just like watching sports and seeing good games…and this was definitely one.  For those of you who didn’t watch it, the Ravens imploded in the last two minutes of the game to allow the Texans to come back from 21 down to tie it up, forcing the game into OT.  Fortunately for Baltimore, the Ravens pulled off an amazing interception return for a touchdown.  What went through my mind during the closing minutes of the game was, “How do you handle a situation like that?”
I know youth ministry isn’t professional football; however, there are moments when we walk into a night of ministry asking ourselves the same question, “How do I handle these high pressure moments?” and “Can they be avoided?”

Yes, but it comes down to preparation, preparation and preparation.  Why did I say preparation three times?  Because it’s important and there are three areas where it’s important to prepare.  Those areas are:

  • Prepare With Delegation.  Creating roles for people (i.e. activity leader) that are clear and concrete will create experts in your ministry.  When you have experts you know who to call on in certain situations.  There’s never question of, “Who’s in charge?” because everyone’s role is clear.
  • Prepare With An Agenda.  I know people dislike agendas, but they are important to keep things tight, to keep everyone on board and to help answer that question of, “What’s next in the evening?”  This is something to circulate amongst your ministers.
  • Prepare With Preparation.  How organized are you?  Where are materials, supplies and resources stored?  You need to make sure that you aren’t piecing things together last minute, you need to make sure that you aren’t the only one who knows where that doohicky for the game is hiding.  Be prepared by preparing materials, leaders and curriculum ahead of time.

This is something that we are always working on, something we could definitely get better at.  Now granted our high pressure moments aren’t as intense as something you’ll see on the football field; however, chaos can erupt.  It comes down to forming systems, creating responsibilities and having your ducks in a row.
What do you do to manage the chaos?  Please comment below.