It’s no secret, our corporate offices are under contract and over the next few months we will be consolidating down to a much smaller portion of our building while a new building is built to better suit our current needs. This downsizing of facilities has meant that all of the people at LifeWay have been asked to “clean up” their offices.
The LifeWay Kids floor has been especially affected by this “clean up.” You see, we are kids ministers at heart, and so we by nature are prone to saving items that we think we can use later. Notice, I didn’t call us hoarders, but you get the idea.
So, throughout our cleanup, we’ve been getting rid of books, old papers, markers, glue, craft supplies, old VBS props, and so forth. Each item held special meaning to someone, but we could no longer justify keeping it. All of this cleanup led me to think about my time on staff as a children’s pastor. Kids ministers often want to hold on to every item, but seldom actually have the space to store it. So, the issue of storage becomes one of a constant debate.
Here are a few questions that I asked myself when cleaning up my office that I think you can use to clean up your kids ministry area:
- Is this item replaceable? Sometimes we hold onto things that we don’t really have to have and can easily replace if the need arises. In my cleanup efforts, an example of this item was a pack of “scented markers”. I love using those scented markers, but honestly, in my work at LifeWay, I don’t use them much! So, as I was cleaning up, I decided to let them go to the donate pile. If a need arises, I can always go buy some more, but scented markers sitting in my desk for years wasn’t going to be helpful to me.
- Does this item have sentimental value? I’m not, by nature, super sentimental about items, but there are a few things that I don’t want to get rid of. Ask yourself if the item is holding a sentimental value. If so, you might want to keep it. However, think about the number of sentimental items you have? Do you really need hundreds of sentiments or will a few suffice?
- Would I want this at my house? This is a key question. You see, for us, the items that we decided to keep had to go home. I’m not sure about your spouse, but my wife would have gone through the roof if I had brought everything from my office to my home. I had to realize that I might have been holding onto some items for security or convenience. The items really didn’t have a great use or value and I certainly didn’t want them in my own home. This was a great question to ask myself. It really helped me pare down my book collection.
- Do I need quick access to this item? This is a question that you really want to think about if you are considering consolidating and getting rid of excess clutter. I have found several items “missing” in my daily needs that I didn’t realize how much I used. Before your start your decluttering efforts, think through a list of items you use on at least a weekly basis. Single those items out to stay nearby.
I hope these questions help you as you’re spring cleaning your ministry space!
Jeff Land loves life! That’s pretty great, because his job here at LifeWay is the Team Leader for Bible Studies for Life: Kids. Jeff loves his life which is so blessed by his amazing wife, Abbey, and their four sons, Reed, Nash, Will, and Tuck. A natural encourager and fun-lover, look for Jeff’s posts about teacher appreciation and game ideas. When not serving at work, Jeff serves 2nd graders at his church, First Baptist Church, Joelton, TN.