There are many areas of ministry that I love!! I love visiting people, I love leading Bible Studies, I love worship, I love working with the children and youth of the church….just to name a few. However, there is to more to being a pastor than the “fun” stuff. There are many areas of ministry that a pastor has to worry about. There is the relational, administrative, creative, personal, emotional, spiritual, and theological. When the pastor is not out making a visit or preaching a sermon many pastor can be found in their offices shuffling papers.
I guess I did not know what I was getting myself into when it came to the amount of paper that is used in ministry. It seems all I do is work with paper. I write my sermons and print them out, I deal with bulletins, newsletters, council reports, letters etc. If I wasn’t careful I can find myself filing all the time!!
I have recently dedicated myself to do all I can to go paperless. I would like to share some process I have reasearched and tools to help me accomplish this.
There are three reasons why I am choosing to do this:
1. To eliminate clutter and save space. I have four filing cabinets at home and two in my office. This does not include the boxes of papers from elementary school, high school, college and seminary. I am running out of room. I also have hundreds and hundreds of books.
2. To have instant access to all of my documents. This is probably the number one reason for doing this. I have found myself in the past looking for something in pile after pile. However, if I store documents in the cloud I can type a few key words and retrieve what I am looking for in a matter of seconds. I almost always have my iPhone or iPad with me so I have instant access to all of my files. I like being able to bring up last months newsletter, or the church constitution, or a sermon from six months ago no matter where I am.
3. To keep myself as organized as possible. I am not the most organized person. For awhile I was good at keeping my files organized and sorted. However, with more commitments and committees I am becoming more and more scattered. I do lose papers and I am bad at keeping up with certain things. However, I find it much easier to keep myself organized and on top of things when I am working on computers and in digital formats.
The initial time investment to get everything set up is tough. However, once things are going it is easy to maintain as long as you have a process. As we go along I hope to share some of my processes with you and help you get started on the paperless lifestyle.