New Schedule

Moving from one church to another has affected my weekly schedule in a bigger way than I’d expected.

At SonRise, my typical work week went from Sunday through Thursday.  And since my most productive time was spent in my study at home, I tried to put in mornings there whenever possible.  But I’ve found that it doesn’t work that way here at CrossWay.  After four and a half months, however, I think I’ve figured out a schedule that works.

When I was at SonRise, it made sense to count Sunday as a work day.  I’d roll out of bed around 4:15 a.m., shower, have my devotional time, and hit the office about 6:30.  Setup for worship services in the high school cafeteria began at 7:00, the first service was at 8:30, the second one was at 10:30, and by the time we packed everything up and were ready to go, it was usually around 1:00 p.m.  Add to that the fact that I usually had a couple night meetings each week and a weekend event at least once or twice a month, and it made sense to take off Friday and Saturday.

But at CrossWay it’s really different.  There’s only one service on Sunday.  There’s no setup, and I don’t even teach Sunday School.  Some Sundays I don’t even get up until 7:00!  During the worship service my only responsibility is preaching.  That’s hard work, but so is leading the music, teaching a class, and signing for the deaf–all done by volunteers.

During the week, the only regular evening commitment is our Wednesday night Bible study.  The regulars who come so faithfully are, of course, volunteers.

It seemed obvious to me that preaching on Sundays and leading on Wednesday nights should not count as work time–not when everyone else is working a job, raising a family, and serving in the church!  So I’ve come to see those things as my voluntary ministry in the church, just like everyone else in the church has (or at least should have!) a ministry.

Another factor to consider is the Training Station, the preschool here at CrossWay.  Parents drop their kids off in the morning and pick them up either late morning or afternoon.  It’s really important to me to get to know the parents and the kids.  That means being here and being available at those times.  In addition, Friday (my former day off) is Bible Story Day at the Training Station, and I’ve been given the opportunity to participate in that.

After prayerfully weighing all these considerations, I’ve finally arrived at a new schedule that really seems to work so far.  Sunday is my Sabbath.  That might seem weird for a pastor, but I look at it as coming to church just like everyone else, and carrying out my ministry.  And really–our church days at CrossWay aren’t very long!  Monday through Thursday I come in between 8:00-8:15 a.m., plan my work day, greet parents and kids, do stuff, and head out around 5:00 p.m.  I’m actually able to accomplish a whole lot more here in the office that I’d ever anticipated.  I think it helps being able to take periodic breaks to go play outside with the kids!

At night, I’ve found it works well to do my work-related reading for a couple hours before bed.  And on Friday, I come in at the usual time, but after the last Bible story time, I’ll leave around 1:00 or so.  That will give me some time for solitude and refreshment to rest from the previous week and gear up for the coming week.  Some people don’t seem to need time alone, but if I go too long without it, I begin falling apart.  So Friday afternoons are going to be crucial for me!

That adds up to roughly 50 hours a week, enough time to be productive without pacing for burnout.

Saturday is the only day Carolyn and I have off together with no other commitments, so I protect it quite seriously.  There are still times I’ll have to take a class or something, and I’ll take an hour or two at some point to review the sermon for the following day, and of course there are chores to be done and errands to run, but most of the day is spent with Carolyn.

Anyway, I don’t know if that’s the most boring thing you’ve ever read or if it might help you some with your own schedule, but it’s my blog so I can write dull stuff on here if I feel like it.

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Published in: on September 20, 2007 at 7:27 am  Leave a Comment  

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