When things get crazy in my schedule … things get lost in the hectic pace and my frenzied hurry to get things done. And while I try to manage it all as best I can, I have realized over time that I “let some things go” when my life spirals out of control. A good first step in the process of making sure you’re doing the most important things is the realization that this is even happening! Here are the first 5 that I’m quick to let go of when the pace quickens:

My walk with Jesus
This is the first … and makes me sad. But if I’m honest, I get busy the first thing I sacrifice is my time alone with God and start walking in my own strength. I’ve mastered the deceptive art of appearing to be godly when in reality being a shallow empty husk of the man of God I should be.

My personal physical health
The second thing I begin to cheat on is my exercise and healthy eating. When I get busy and his ministry how usually start eating more fast food, more pizza, more empty calories. I begin to look for any disposable time in my schedule – exercise is among the first things to be cut.

My family time or investment in my spouse
“Families are resilient” I think to myself and unfortunately it is easy for me to justify comp time later with my kids or pushing back the already rare date night because the family will always be there for me. When I get busy in youth ministry I wrongly assume they can handle the brunt of my absence.

My attention to detail
Typically when the pace of youth ministry increases I find myself scattered and giving everything less attention than it deserves. The more broad my responsibilities become, the more I am responsible for and the faster the pace the more things fall through the cracks. Quality suffers. I begin depending on my ability to “wing it” and trust in my instincts instead of a combination of effective preparation and veteran experience to draw from.

My people
This one probably doesn’t show up for a very long time but in the end when I get busy and stay busy with youth ministry I don’t invest in the people were serving alongside me and slowly but surely they begin to disappear. When I get busy in ministry to take all sorts of shortcuts and typically shortchange the very people who could help carry the load.

Each of these symptoms of a busy ministry life could warrant an entire blog post talking about dissecting and helping find some tactics to solve them. But for today all I would ask is that you picked one that resonates most clearly with you and figure out a way to address it so you don’t lose the people priorities or walk with Jesus that makes your youth ministry so incredible in the first place.