Throughout the years, I have been asked all kinds of questions about the ministry: "How long does it take you each week to prepare 2 sermons?" "What do you do with the rest of your time?" "Where do you do most of your work--your house or Starbucks?" "How can you drink Diet Coke for breakfast?" etc. Well, I thought I'd share some of the details of a day that had a lot of variety to it.
8:30-9:15: Watch some of the inauguration
Whether you agree with our new President on the issues or not, this was an historical moment. I've never been one to watch Presidential inaugurations, but I did want to watch some of this one. I got to see Aretha Franklin with a giant bow in her hair, Nancy Pelosi with a permanent grin on her face, and Rick Warren in a suit. By the way, how come Rick didn't wear a Hawaiian shirt to the inauguration. It's good enough for worship in the presence of almighty God.
9:15: Reply to an email about upcoming classis meeting
As stated clerk of our classis, I have to deal with a lot of correspondence from other churches. And since we have a classis meeting coming up in March (and an agenda has to be out in the next 10 days), a lot of my time is going to be given to working on this.
9:30: Receive a phone call from a member that his wife has given birth
In the last 3 weeks, we have had 2 baptisms in our congregation. In addition, there will be another 8 baptisms in our church in the next 5 months. Well, one of these soon-to-be-baptized babies was born yesterday.
9:40: Send out email to congregation, informing them that another birth has taken place in our congregation
We like to celebrate new births as a church and so I sent out an email asking everyone to give thanks for a safe delivery and healthy baby.
9:45: Finalize my sermon texts for the week
Typically, I am preaching through books of the Bible and so it doesn't take a great deal of time for me to figure out my sermon texts for the week. For example, I'm in the book of Numbers in the morning and so I know that I'll be preaching Numbers 25 this Sunday. However, I just finished the book of Romans in the evening this past Sunday. So now the question is, "Where do I go next?" After some time contemplating the matter, I decide (since we will be celebrating the Lord's Supper in 2 weeks) to preach a sermon on the sacrament of the Lord's Supper this Sunday night.
10:15: Pick my songs for the week and send them to one of our pianists and our bulletin coordinator
I'm not the most musical person on the face of earth (played trombone for 3 weeks in the 4th grade before the class gave the teacher a nervous breakdown, thus ending my musical career). Because of that, picking songs each week is not one of my favorite things to do. However, it's something I take seriously, since I don't want us singing songs that are either (A) unsingable; (B) don't fit with the theme of the sermon. It typically takes me anywhere from 30-60 minutes to choose my songs for the week. After I select them, I email them to the appropriate individuals.
11:00: Reply to email from individual who is looking to begin a Bible study and possibly plant a church in our state
There is a potential Bible study starting about 3 hours from here and the individual who is heading it up wanted to get my input on something.
11:10: Email sermon info (texts and titles) and announcements to our bulletin coordinator
Our bulletin coordinator does a great job of getting the bulletin together every week and so I try to get everything to her early in the week.
11:20: Begin initial preparation of morning sermon
Realizing that I don't have a lot of time before I need to go to the hospital (to visit the family who has just had the baby), I start reading through Numbers 25, looking for key points/themes.
12:00: Eat lunch
Cheese sandwich and Diet Coke!
12:30: Head to hospital (30 minutes south) to visit the family who has just had a baby
I always enjoy this. It's always a blessing to be able to share in the joy of a family who has just been blessed with a new child. In the past, I would take a balloon to the family, but about a year ago, I changed my practice. Now I take Starbucks drinks. After all, what good is a balloon? So I stop at Starbucks, pick up the couple's drinks of choice and head to the hospital. Unfortunately, this particular hospital doesn't have "clergy parking" so I drive around awhile and finally find a parking spot in the street.
3:00: Return home from hospital
While driving home, I call one of my colleagues and catch up with him for about 15 minutes.
3:10: Reply to email about potential Bible study/church plant in our state
The gentleman who is hoping to get something started south of here would like to worship with us in a couple of weeks and pick our brains about church planting.
3:15: Reply to email about classis meeting in March
As I said, lots of correspondence to deal with as the stated clerk. By the way, if you're reading this: Thanks to my friend and colleague who nominated me to this position :)
3:20: Email deacons about meals for family who has just had a baby
Our deacons are always great about getting meals lined up for families who have just had a baby.
3:30: Back to working on morning sermon
I spend the next 2 hours working on my morning sermon. Still a long, long way from being done.
5:30: Dinner with family
Sushi! The sushi that I have is eel and avocado. Very good!
6:40: Leave for 7:00 pre-marital counseling session with couple in church
I have a 7:00 pm appointment with a couple in our church who is getting married in April. This is our third of six meetings.
8:00: Arrive back home
A very full and diverse day.