From the Pastor’s Office
Nearly every time I walk into my office, flick the switch that gently fades the room from dark to light, and plug in my Mac I wonder: what do I do today? After all that’s all I have, right? Actually a bit less than that — I only have the moment not necessarily the day. The next moment is never a guarantee. I am not speaking morbidly, but practically. The pastors office is often less a haven of solitude and more a hive of activity.
In the midst of this never ending activity I have found a plan, any plan to be supremely valuable. In my first years of pastoral ministry the extent of my plan had to do with Sunday’s message. At the very least I knew which passage I was to preach from on the coming Sunday. However now in my modest fifth year of “professional” ministry, I have found that a daily plan is a must.
Thanks to the incomparable instruction of Gordon MacDonald, particularly in his work Ordering Your Private World, I have found that true pastoral order goes far beyond knowing what passage to study during the week. I need to know what I am called to do every day.
Essentially, without a plan we will always neglect the important and move toward the urgent. But many “urgent” things can wait and many important things allow us to do that which is urgent much better. Therefore, I have found it vital in my role as pastor to partition my time well so that the important things such as reading the Word, prayer, dreaming, and yes more prayer are not neglected for the supposed urgency of emails, drop-ins, and things some describe as “church bologna.” To be sure we must be flexible and respond well to the unforeseen interruptions of the day, but we never want to allow distractions to hijack our what we have been called to do.