Methods to Office Madness: How to Make the Most Out of Your Space

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There needs to be some sense of controlled chaos and order to your office so that you can maximize the space for all of the many functions it serves.

Emails, forms for trips, sticky notes with calls to return, books on scripture, chairs for the small group, wig for Sunday nights skit, as well as, the supplies for your next nerf war may all at once be located in one single place called your office.  Youth ministry is not like most jobs. Every day is a little bit different, and sometimes even hour by hour you are shifting from preparing for one set of needs to being prepared to a totally different set of needs.  The office that you do all of this in needs to be multipurpose to some degree.  However there is an age old question: how exactly do you make one place multifunctional for youth ministry?  How exactly do you make it a place where a 7th grade boy can come in and hang out as well as their parent come have a serious conversation?

Here are 5 keys to help make a method out of the madness of your office:

1. Desk Placement

The desk needs to be in such a position so that when you are working, people can’t necessarily see any confidential information and so that you can slip out your door easily.  At times there can be people who come in and are upset and you want to be able to slip out and grab a helper if it’s needed!

2. Chair Placement

You want people to feel comfortable coming in to talk to you.  Placing a chair near your desk for someone to sit in and talk to you is helpful.  Also, having comfortable chairs or a couch is good for groups.  They should be placed almost making a circle so that it helps spur conversation.

3. Bookshelves and Filing Cabinets

Place them behind your desk area or close to you.  These need to be easily accessible to you.  Also, I organize my books by topic: Devotionals, missions, girls ministry, counseling, relationships, youth ministry, commentaries, Bibles, and curriculum.  That way if you need something pertaining to a topic you know the exact section to go to for help. Organize your filing cabinets by weekly files, outreach/fellowship events, missions and fundraisers, trips, past sermons, small group lessons, and leaders.

4. What time is it?

I place my clock opposite wherever I sit the most.  That way if someone comes in and is talking your ear off when you need to head to a meeting, you can see the time without being rude and looking at your phone!

5. Office essentials

A phone, pens and sticky notes next to the phone, clock (see point #4), a wall calendar placed near your desk, trash can, fun elements that will get students talking about something (I have a stuffed jackalope I leave on my bookcase that is the source of many conversations), pictures of your family or things you love (sports team), and a candle (I know it may sound girly, but you will appreciate it after the boys have played basketball and come inside).

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Caroline has served in student ministry for almost 10 years, and is currently the Youth and Young Adult Minister at Destin United Methodist Church in Destin, FL and co-founder of WAVES Girls Event, a conference for girls ages 14-24. Getting a call into youth ministry at age 16 in Nashville, TN led to Caroline getting a degree in Youth and Family Ministry and a certificate through PREPARE/ENRICH for Premarital Counseling at Abilene Christian University in 2009. She got her start in full time student ministry at Highland Park United Methodist Church in Dallas, TX. Caroline loves to encourage students in their faith, and see them be lights in their community. Some things Caroline enjoys is time on the beach, reading, sushi, coffee, traveling and time with her friends and family. You can follower her on her blog, called “Big Hare & Big Faith,” www.carolinehare.wordpress.com, or on Instagram and Twitter: @CarolineHare

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