Pastors only work one day a week…
I get this all of the time now. Where I’m from in the South it’s assumed that pastors work full time for a church and that the church pays them as close to a “living wage” as possible. It’s understood what a pastor does throughout the week to earn that money. And honestly, I had respect for my pastors because I saw how hard they worked.
Then I moved to Las Vegas. It’s quite a different place. We love this city. But there’s certainly a different culture. A different understanding of churches and pastors. And this exchange happens a lot (so much so I decided to write about it)…
“What do you do?”
“Oh, I’m a pastor!”
“I know. But what do you do the rest of the week?”
This always makes me laugh a little. It also helps me understand that many people in this culture really do not understand what a pastor is or what they do. So, let me share a bit about what the rest of my weeks looks like as a church entrepreneur and pastor.
Sunday is the start of the week…
While most people start their work day on Monday, mine starts early Sunday. I’m usually at PublicUs first thing in the morning. I pray, clear my mind, imagine the day, fine-tune my talk, and wake up with a great cup of coffee. It’s cool to see other pastors and friends there on Sunday morning.
Then I’m off to help setup the space we are creating to discuss life and faith. The gathering discussion follows and then we clean it all up. We have leadership teams that meet most Sundays so I’ll be in a meeting or two after the gathering. I cannot express the amount of gratitude and excitement I feel at the end of almost every Sunday!
Monday is both mindful and mindless…
Because Sunday is a long, draining day emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and socially, I tend to use Monday mornings as “me time” as best I can. I’m mindful of feelings, exhaustion, and spiritual needs. I try to simply be quiet. I read, think, pray, listen to a soul enriching podcast.
A healthy, hot breakfast is preferred on Monday mornings. This does something for my heart. Oh, and some more coffee doesn’t hurt!
That lasts as long as it needs to and then I’m off and running. Mostly mindless work like video editing, basic preparation for the next Sunday, sending emails, responding to emails, and organizing the rest of the work that needs to be done throughout the week. The routine is welcomed as this is often my only day quite so simple and inflexible.
Tuesdays I get creative and write…
Whether it’s a Sunday sermon, sermon series, blog post, etc. I’m trying to be creative on Tuesdays. I need a window with a view, earbuds connected to a playlist or artist that best reflects my mood, and my computer. I’m creating. Writing, brainstorming, future planning, and more. This is a good day for me to also connect with people spontaneously. It’s these interactions that fuel my creativity and direction.
I like to plan ahead. I like to really live out my talks so I write them in advance. Also, in my “gathering producer” role I’m creatively planning our Sunday gatherings. A lot of thought goes into the creation of these gatherings and I’m leading that team. They need me to lead in creativity!
Wednesday is about business and meetings…
Now that I’ve gotten the mindless and creative work done, I need to work on the business end of running an organization. This makes Wednesdays the best day for meetings. Also, I tend to work on the financials, leadership meeting preparations, and structure and strategy on Wednesdays.
There’s always, fundraising to be done. People to update. Oh and an amazing team of leaders that I need to equip for the work of ministry in downtown Las Vegas. There’s no shortage of “business” to be done for the church.
Thursday is a catch-all…
Thursday is probably my most varied day of the week. I’m finalizing preparation for Sunday. I’m meeting with people as needed. I’m looking at all of my roles in our church and updating projects and creating new ones. I’m working on things like graphics, website needs, important communication, and anything that didn’t get done on any other day.
It’s a catch-all day. I really like this. For some reason knowing Thursday is there allows me to pace myself the rest of the week, or even spend more time on something I deem of greatest importance.
Friday & Saturday are flexible and family oriented…
Sometimes I have to “work” on Fridays and other times it’s simply dedicated to my family. Also, as we are always in need of some extra money, I will DJ a wedding on Friday evening.
Saturday tends to catch an occasional ministry related event. Sometimes this involves my leadership and other times I’m simply serving.
I try to protect Saturdays as best I can but it’s also a day I might find myself DJing a wedding.
And then we do it all over again…
That’s my week in summary. I hope you can see that “pastoring” isn’t just a Sunday activity. Sunday sermons aren’t created Sunday morning. The leadership, and direction of this growing church requires constant attention. The work is endless and fulfilling.
Maybe you’re someone who never really understood how a pastor’s week went. I hope this helps.