In two weeks school starts up here in Maryland, which means in three weeks our fall programming at church begins. There is a lot of last minute prep that needs to get done; however, not enough time to do it all. It’s seasons like these when the sweat drips from your face, you drink obscene amounts of coffee and you wonder, “How is this going to get done?”

When hitting a deadline the worst thing for you to do is PANIC. Youth ministry is full of distractions, temptations and obligations that will take you away from what’s important. If you get trapped by those feelings, you’ll find yourself scrambling as you work on a time sensitive project. You need to know how to handle high pressured situations. It’s knowing what to do when you have last minute prep. A few of those steps one can take is through:

  • Taking A Step Back: Just breathe, find some quiet time, ask God for guidance and then focus. If you are in a panic you won’t be able to think outside the box, and take the right steps to ensure the job gets done. When you feel the anxiety rise just stop , address it with your supervisor and then try to refocus what you need to get done.
  • Making Lists: Creating lists helps you organize your responsibilities and create tangible action steps. Once you start looking at what needs to be done, you can stat chipping away. As you knock off each item on your lists you’ll build confidence, which can build momentum.
  • Delegating Like Crazy: Even if you can do a task, pass it off to someone so that you can create more margin. The more margin you have, the more you’ll be able to focus on the stuff only you can do. During a season of last minute prep you want to be able to share the burden so that it doesn’t slow you down.
  • Tracking Your Progress: By keeping record of your progress, you are preventing yourself from facing the last minute prep rush in the future. It’ll serve as a tool that can be used next time you approach a similar situation. Take notes on tasks that needed to be done, who is running them and what you are learning from each mistake. Save it and review it at a future date.
  • Communicate, Communicate And Communicate: You cannot over communicate, in fact make it your goal. When you are doing last minute prep you want to make sure everyone is on the same page. That means checking in, giving encouragement and asking questions. Give others updates, share your progress and build momentum. Get people talking.


Last minute prep is not fun; however, it doesn’t have to kill you. Time will fly by, responsibilities will pile up and deadlines will come out of nowhere. Instead of panicking, lean into the situation and just start moving.

How do you handle last minute prep? Do you thrive or struggle when the pressure is on?