Devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. --1 Timothy :13-15
The old joke directed at the pastor has always been, what do you do for the rest of the week? Pastors only work on Sundays! About a year ago I published a newsletter article called, “A day in the life of a pastor.” I thought to follow up on that article this month. As I reiterate some of its detail, I will share about a week in the life of a pastor. God’s people deserve to know some of the details of their pastor’s Ministry, things they may not be aware of. What is it that fills up the time?
Well, the week begins on Monday morning and normally with sermon work for the following weekend. Sometimes I get a head start on Sunday afternoon! Sermon work is very involved. There is much that goes into it, from prayer to preparation in the ancient languages, to further reading, writing and finally rehearsing. At least two fairly full days are needed for this sermon preparation although the sermon might be touched up even up to the following weekend before services. Studies and classes such as Sunday Bible class and Confirmation also take a bit of time to prepare and then of course to conduct.
Bulletin work is an important part of the week as well. Over the course of a day or two the bulletin is ready for printing. With the new Wednesday service schedule there is additional work in preparing for the sermon. There is of course, also the bulletin to prepare.
There are calls, emails or visits to make, particularly to our home bound members in setting up for communion visits. Normally I visit with our home bound once per month. There are the occasional meetings and personal interactions that happen as well from day to day. I enjoy sharing with people in the local community while I am out and about. This often provides an opportunity to share the Faith and to invite neighbors to St. John! Finally there is the occasional pastoral counseling. At times God’s people need to share and pray with another and I am happy to meet with them.
One thing that has struck me in recent times is the responsibility and the privilege of seeking God in worship and in study. Certainly worship and learning of God’s word is something for all the people of God. Yet, one of the titles for the pastor in the scriptures is “teacher.” In order to engage in this great teaching privilege I must be immersed in learning. And so an important aspect of the Pastoral Ministry is devotion to the Lord and considerable time in his word, prayer, with further reading and study. This is why the place where I read and pray is called the pastor’s Study! I also find it necessary from time to time to get away for further study and devotion by way of a personal retreat.
The Lord has blessed us at St. John. We have his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ who is the true Pastor and Teacher of us all! As his sheep may we always find our refuge and nurture in his protecting, providing care for us all. Thank you for joining me for a week in the life of a pastor!