Planning Feels Great

I know. If you’re a Producer Fader, you’re either rolling your eyes at a subject like “Planning Feels Great,” or you’re disappointed because I’m not stronger in my call to action. 

On Saturday, our family watched the movie named “Wonder” in which a boy with a facial disfigurement goes to school for the first time. One of his teachers has a “precept” that he shares with his class each month.

One of those precepts was, “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.” — Dr. Wayne W. Dyer.

Great advice for this moment in our world!

Another one was “Your deeds are your monuments.” — inscription on an Egyptian tomb (in other words, what you do is what we will remember you for.)

We woke up the following day, and just before noon, we started talking about how we would celebrate my son’s 15th birthday…that same day. Oof.

Now, my dear wife had been “encouraging” me to make our plan for that day for over two weeks. Would we invite a few of his friends to hike a local volcano or swim in a waterfall with Dad? Would the boys find a place to go camping in the mountains for two nights?

All those options required some level of planning, especially the “inviting others” part. But I had done…nothing.

I explained to her that this is how I do pretty much everything. If I’m teaching a seminar, I plan the day before...even if I’ve known about it for six months. If I have to give a list of songs to a worship team, I get it ready the day I need to give it to them.

Pre-planning (or “planning” as the rest of the world calls it) is not in my DNA. I did, after all, call our worship coaching organization “Ad Lib Music,” not “Pre-planned Music.” 

The tension that ensued and the horrible reality that I had completely let my son down caused me to remember the “precepts” of the night before. You can’t exactly call up three families and ask if you can pick up their sons in an hour to go on a birthday adventure. Well, you can. Just don’t expect a yes.

And it’s the rainy season here in Costa Rica. Translation: you have a MUCH better chance of being outdoors in the sun in the morning because it rains almost every afternoon.

So I had single-handedly shot our hopes of a fun birthday because I didn’t take the time to plan.*

Sigh. I’m sorry, Aspen!

We salvaged the day by going as a family to a waterfall, and though we drove through torrential rain on the way there, thanks to Costa Rica’s micro-climates, the ground stayed dry for our waterfall swim and family picnic. (We even had to “repel” down a 10-foot rock to get there!)

I hope you enjoyed my confessional story. But more than that, I hope you’re thinking about how you can serve your team better by planning earlier.

They need you to!

Whether it’s...

  • taking time to plan out 4-12 weeks of the schedule, or
  • sending them the music two weeks ahead of the Sunday (a Producer just scoffed at that short time as they read that), or
  • a “save the date” six months before your team’s retreat, or
  • thinking about what devo to share with them earlier than on your way to rehearse

...a little planning goes a long way.

Perhaps your fun-loving, last-minute, spontaneous self wants to adopt a new precept: Planning Feels Great!

For those of you like me, it’s helpful to associate something positive and desirable with something that doesn’t come naturally. That’s why I said planning “feels great” instead of “is important” or “will keep me out of trouble,” or “is what my pastor told me I need to work on.” 

Try it today. :) (or send this to someone who needs to hear this encouragement.)


ps. *(I had initially written “plan in advance,” but my Grammarly editor tells me that “Plan in advance may be redundant and I should just say “plan.” Ok, ok, I get it! If it’s not in advance, it’s not planning.)