Yikes! How could I have fallen so far, so fast? I had said I wanted to do a little bit on things every day so I wouldn’t be overwhelmed. I actually did that until Wednesday, when everything fell apart. Don’t ask me why—I was in the office all day, got lots of paperwork and other needed things done (worship planning for January, meeting with host church pastor about our joint Christmas Eve service, not to mention various correspondence). I tried to work on the sermon several times, but then I would realize that I hadn’t done X, which had to be done that day (deadline) or I needed to check on Y, since I was in the office. Etc. You know how it goes—someone calls, someone stops in, you realize you’re running out of time on something else…and the sermon gets put aside.
And yet, the sermon and worship are two of the most important things we, as pastors, do. We can farm out a lot of administrative tasks, we can delegate a deacon (or whatever the denominational title is) to do most visits and calls…but the sermon and worship, that’s ours. In my denomination, in fact, the pastor is solely responsible for worship. No one else can dictate what to do during the worship service. The pastor can delegate music selection, for example, and get suggestions and input from a worship team, but the final decisions are the pastor’s.
I may rethink my weekly routine. Right now, I have Mondays off (theoretically), Tuesdays and Wednesdays are office hours, Thursdays I have appointments and meetings and work on the sermon, and Friday I work on the sermon as well as whatever else needs to be done that hasn’t been done. And Saturday usually finds me here, working on my sermon with the other RevGalBlogPals at the weekly preacher’s party.…
I’m thinking I’d like to change that. Maybe this schedule will work: Monday still my day off; Tuesday a sermon day, not an office day; Wednesday office day; Thursday office day; Friday sermon and clean-up day. Maybe if I set aside a day early in the week to do nothing but the sermon, I can get more done on it before the craziness catches up to me.
And the New Year is coming (yes, there is life after Christmas!)—new year, new Board, new schedule. It’s worth a shot, I think. All I know is that I’m tired of feeling like I’ve shorted the sermon preparation time, when it is one of the core things I do. I’m also tired of making resolutions—here in my blog, to my family, to myself—and then not being able to follow through. I know some of it is a matter of trial and error, and refining this and that to put together what works for me, and I know it doesn’t have to happen overnight—but I want it to! God, give patience, and right now!