The Routine

Posted on Posted in Dave Everson
Finding a weekly rhythm was one of my¬† first priorities as a pastor–mostly because I feel most grounded when I have a routine. It saves me the mental energy of constantly wondering “what should I do next?” And it helps set boundaries on my time, on both the professional and personal sides of the equation.A few pastors have given me some advice, and I’ve read advice from others. It turns out that a pastor’s routine generally emerges from a blend of his/her strengths, needs, and expectations with those of the church. That’s a wordy way of saying it’s a bit different for everyone.

At any rate, a routine evolved and I’ve outlined it for you below–first, for the sake of clarity; second, so you know when I’m available; and third, to point out some of the important strengths/needs/expectations that lie behind my routine.

A few disclaimers:

  • this is a framework, not a rule. Barring unusual circumstances, this is generally what my week looks like. But sometimes I scrap it to roll with surprises or big events
  • this is about a 50 hour schedule. But I try to keep my actual work week below that. I avoid marathon days, balance long days with shorter ones, and take breaks.
  • In practice, prayer time is woven in throughout the schedule. But frankly the idea of publishing the details of my spiritual practices feels as uncomfortable as publishing a run-down of my dates with my wife. I’m happy to talk about aspects of it from time to time, but I’d prefer not to broadcast the intimate details.

Sunday
8:00 to 2:00
Morning: Run through sermon, worship prep, worship service
Afternoon: meetings; office work & planning

6:00 to 8:00
Study, admin, meetings

Monday
8:30 to 5:30 (usually away from the office)
Limited admin
Long-term study & research (e.g., upcoming teaching topics, professional development)
Non-sermon writing (e.g., stuff like this)

Tuesday
8:30 to 5:30
Limited admin
Sermon prep: Study & research; outline; early writing
Limited meetings

6:00 to 8:00
Meetings

Wednesday
8:30 to 5:30
Admin: staff meeting, plan worship service, informational writing (Reminders, Website), meetings, organizational planning

6:00 to 8:00
Meetings

Thursday
Limited admin
Sermon prep: final draft
Limited meetings

6:00 to 8:00
Meetings

Friday
8:30 to 12:00 Wrap up unfinished work (only if critical)
Available via: e-mail or phone (critical and emergencies only)

Saturday
Sabbath: no work, no electronic communication
Available via: phone (emergencies only)

photo credit: photosteve101; CC by 2.0