As pastors and leaders, we love big ideas, big plans, and big vision. But I’m learning is some of your biggest returns can come from relatively small investments. In fact, some of these “small” actions we make have the potential to put us in a position to accomplish all the big things that we like to dream about.

With that in mind, here are 30 ways you can spend 30 minutes to get big results.

  1. Pray. Spend thirty minutes a day praying for your spouse, your family, and your church. If we pray as much as we like to plan, our plans would have a better chance at being successful.
  1. Hire an assistant. If your church has an attendance of 200 or more, you need an assistant. You don’t have to pay them. In some churches, you might find a volunteer who would be able to do this.
  1. Check the numbers. Every Monday morning look at your attendance and giving numbers for the week. How do they compare to last week and the same week last year? Need help tracking your numbers? Church Metrics is a great place to start.
  1. Go through the connection cards. Take a look at where people are coming from, how they heard about your church, and how you can pray for them.
  1. Get ahead on next week’s sermon. Start looking at the scriptures you’re going to use. Get your main points developed.
  1. Conduct a facility audit. Once a month take thirty minutes and walk around your entire church property with your facility director. Pay close attention to areas that need to be updated, repaired, or cleaned.
  1. Empty your inbox. The more emails you have, the more stressed you feel. Use the first twenty minutes of your morning and the ten minutes after your lunch to follow up on emails and get them out of your inbox.
  1. Write an email to send first-time guests. Most guests want to have some kind of connection with the pastor. Sending an email a couple days after they visit the church is a great way to start this connection.
  1. Add your vision statement to your email signature. You want to get your vision in front of the church as much as possible. Adding your vision statement to your email signature is a fast and easy way to do just that.
  1. Sign up for a Hootsuite account to schedule social media posts. Once you have an account, you can schedule multiple posts across multiple platforms.
  1. Schedule one encouraging Facebook post or Tweet a day for the next week. Now that you have a Hootsuite account, schedule at least one encouraging post a day for a week.
  1. Schedule a volunteer appreciation event. A church’s most important asset is its volunteers. Schedule an event to appreciate them. Don’t worry about planning it, just put it on the calendar.
  1. Spend time reading a leadership book. Spend 30 minutes reading a book to grow yourself and your leadership. This one is a great one from John Maxwell.
  1. Hand write thank you notes to first-time givers. Make sure your finance team sends you the names and addresses of everyone who gives for the first time at your church. Use this information to send them a handwritten thank you card.
  1. Use Feedly to subscribe to at least ten blogs. Some of my personal favorites are from Carey Nieuwhof, Thom Rainer, and, of course, Church Fuel.
  1. Write an encouraging email to your team. How often do you thank your team? Spend thirty minutes writing an encouraging email to thank and inspire your team.
  1. Schedule your vacation time. You don’t have time to plan one, but you can go ahead and get it on the calendar.
  1. Write a giving talk for the upcoming Sunday’s offering time. You should set up every offering with a giving talk. Spend thirty minutes writing as many as possible.
  1. Brainstorm a list of possible gifts you could give to first time guests. Coffee mugs, water bottles, or t-shirts? How many other ideas can you come up with?
  1. Create a volunteer of the month award. Choose one volunteer each month who has done a great job and honor them with an award. As Andy Stanley says, “The things that get celebrated get replicated.”
  1. Schedule that conversation you’ve been avoiding. Tough conversations are a big part of being a leader. Make the call or schedule the meeting that you know needs to happen.
  1. Set up a MailChimp account for the church. MailChimp makes mass email easier and more professional. Learn how to get started here.
  1. Take a selfie with a volunteer and post to social media on Monday. This shows value to the volunteer and the value of serving, and it produces social engagement.
  1. Create a Facebook Ad for your next sermon series. Churches are quickly learning that Facebook ads are the best way to advertise. Need help getting started? Check out this how-to-guide.
  1. Schedule a staff retreat. At least once a year, you should get away with your church staff and plan for the future. Take a few minutes to put this on the calendar.
  1. Watch Sunday’s sermon on Monday. I know watching yourself preach is torture for most pastors, but it’s the best way to improve your preaching.
  1. Plan a date night with your spouse. Take care of all the details. Plan for a meal and an activity, and don’t forget to hire a babysitter. Happy spouse, happy house.
  1. Listen to other preachers’ sermons. This could take more than 30 minutes depending on who you’re listening to.
  1. Evaluate each ministry in your church. Write down each ministry of your church, and list what’s going well and what needs to be changed. Then schedule a meeting with each ministry leader to go over the list.
  1. Read your Bible. Not for sermon prep, just for you.

Want even more ideas?  This ebook from Church Fuel gives you 101 ideas to help you lead a growing church.  You’ll find ideas for outreach, discipleship, stewardship, social media, and more. Check it out here.