One of my favorite aspects of pastoral ministry is the preparation of the lesson or sermon. Depending on the week, there could be three to four lessons per week that need to be prepared. However, there's always the 'growing' to-do list. Here's a small sample of what my to-do list could look like after a typical Sunday morning:
Not only will I have four lessons to prepare for for the upcoming week, now I have an additional five things (on an easy Sunday). However, I often noticed that my list grows with each day of the week. Action items pile up and the next thing I know, I'm late with the annual review; I failed to call the key volunteer; I didn't make the 25 copies the first grade class needed; we go another Sunday without coffee during our Leadership Team prayer time; and the new Leadership Coach still doesn't have a job description.
After a few years of a growing to-do list and items not being completed, one of the ways I've found effective is to actually schedule my to-do list on an online calendar. Here's how it works:
1. Create an online calendar - I personally use Google Calendar. I have downloaded the app on my phone so I can see my calendar on my phone and also on a desktop computer.
2. Action Items - When an action item arises, I immediately find a time to plug it into my calendar. If I'm away from the office, I immediately take my phone, open the Google Calendar app and enter the task. If someone has asked me to do something for them, I ask them to stay with me while I enter the task into my phone/computer. If not, I can easily be tempted to do something else and forget to even enter the requested task on my calendar.
3. Priorities - Because I've already entered in the items that I feel are most important (at the end of the previous week), I am able to make sure that the to-do list doesn't take over my calendar. See www.drakecaudill.com/blogs/leadership-set-your-schedule
4, List - I still have a to-do list. But it's for long term items like long term ministry planning, programs and events. But for items that need immediate action, they are scheduled on my calendar.
For this season of life and ministry, this has been effective for me. What are some ways you deal with your to-do lists to make sure each item is completed?
First Peter 5:2 reads, "shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness..."
Over the past few months, I've been studying the letters by Peter. Here's a wonderful passage that I would like to take the next few weeks and walk through the passage and explore each word and/or phrase.
Here's the outline that will be used as we explore:
2. Dig Deeper
I'll tend to follow the example of John Calvin when writing about Scripture. As Bingham wrote, "When expounding Scripture, Calvin was remarkably straightforward and to the point. He did not launch his message with a captivating story, a compelling quote or a personal anecdote." www.ligonier.org/blog/10-distinguishing-marks-john-calvins-preaching/. Let's jump in.
Peter continues next by saying who they are shepherding, "The Flock of God". That's the passage we'll take a look at next time.
Do you have any thoughts about the shepherd?
God has called me to remind people of their chief end: To glorify God and enjoy Him. But in order to do this effectively, I have found that I need a plan - schedule. Here's how I set my weekly schedule:
1. Look ahead - I end each Thursday by looking ahead to the upcoming week. I look to see what's coming up with my family, personal and ministry calendar.
2. Priorities - If I'm not careful, I'll place my work ahead of my family and myself (sleep less, stress, etc.). So I begin placing what I consider are my most important items on my calendar. I understand that within ministry, emergencies will arise. So I am aware that my schedule can be changed. However, on a typical day/week, here's what I consider most important:
Over the years, taking time at the end of the week to plan the upcoming week actually frees me to do the work of the ministry. Yes, emergencies arise and I adjust for the sake of ministering to others. But it's then that I am blessed to remind others of our chief end. Not weekly agendas or a perfectly planned week, but our chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him.
How do you plan your day/week?
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