Posted on March 18, 2019
I’m sure it can go without saying that each week presents its own challenges and has its own demands. However, there are certain items which must be accomplished every week by a specific deadline, and these are those to which I speak here.
Monday: typically a day off.
Tuesday: I record five radio devotionals each week that have to be no more than three minutes. I can sometimes spend half of a day or 3/4 of a day finding material and recording them to make sure they are prepared for the next week. I work ahead on this and like to have those done by Tuesday. After such is completed, I will begin in earnest on my Wednesday night Bible class. Usually, on this day I record a podcast with a friend of mine, and that can take an hour or so. Our podcast is entitled, “Nino and Notorious” after the late Justice Scalia and serving Justice RBG. I typically think closer to Nino and her to Notorious. We talk about life, politics, current events, etc.
Wednesday: This whole day is usually devoted to my class for the evening as well as devotional before dismissing to class. When I finish, I will begin working on Sunday’s sermons.
Thursday: Sunday’s sermons dominate the day. Hopefully, I will have begun on them by Wednesday at some point. The blog post published each Sunday is a written synopsis of my Sunday morning sermon. If you notice the previous posts, those are sermons I preached for the past Sunday mornings. I usually read scholarly articles about the text as well as a book section which I cite at the bottom of each post. The research aspect of a text can take more time than actually writing the sermon. Once I’ve done my research and study, the sermon itself naturally flows rather quickly. On Thursdays, I also attend Rotary meetings which are from 11:30–1:00.
Friday: This day is what I call a “clean up” day. I usually clean up everything required for Sunday. I fine-tune my sermons as best I can, and then I prepare my Sunday Bible class, and I work on the bulletin for next week which consists of an article and the next week’s sermons.
Any/Every Day: Throughout what I have planned on each day, I will set aside time to make visits to either hospitals or homes. Then there are the funerals which may occur during these days as well as even on my scheduled days off. When that happens, it happens. I will be in the office each workday no later than 7:30 unless I have morning meetings scheduled. Being a Rotarian occupies some of my time and requires meetings and some planning, and I’m also on some local committees which also needs some time here or there. My wife and I have begun entertaining at our home, having brethren over here or there to better get to know them. There’s also the attention that I give to my family as husband and father, tending my chickens and little homestead, and unwinding and having time for myself. In addition to this, I’m a Reserve Deputy with our local Sheriff’s Office, so I volunteer when the need arises and also try to schedule ride-alongs with road units when my schedule allows. For example, tomorrow I will be working at the Judicial Building for half a day and helping with their needs. This was requested assistance, so I’ve reworked my schedule this week to help out with their needs and still cover what I need to include.
One thing that I’ve found vital to balancing my life’s requirements is good time management. With a congregation upwards of 700+ souls, meeting the needs of the congregation is my first priority behind only my own Christianity and family. Because I manage my time well, I’m able to do a lot, but a part of maintaining my time well means also saying, “No,” when I must. People are generally respectful of my time, and I’m grateful for that. There are, however, some folks who would waste my time were I to allow it. Yet, I have an excellent secretary who does a lot of screening for me via phone and at the front desk. I never mind stopping anything I’m doing for any of the brethren at Glendale Road, but others are typically required to make an appointment. One of the blogs that better helped me to manage my time well is Time Management Ninja. You’ll find a lot of useful tips there.
People often think we preachers work only one day a week, and it’s a bit of a running joke. Regardless, the one day a week that we are perceived to work is the most public aspect of our ministries, but a lot of other things happens throughout the rest of the week such as counselings, meeting with people who need spiritual advice or just the ear of a friend. There are things I know that I wish I didn’t, and there are things I know that I carry home with me each day because they affect people I’ve come to dearly love. The emotional toll is by far the worst part of the job, but when we care and love as Christ did, we better understand His compassion and grace towards all.