it seems to be a matter of some curiosity – especially when people are new to a church – to discover what in fact, if anything, a person in my line of work does during the work week. the same could be wondered of all sorts of professions, I'm sure, but I suppose it's especially the case when it comes to pastors because some parts of our work are very public (sunday mornings, weddings, funerals, etc.), and other parts are very private (helping people with crises, personal challenges, "spiritual" stuff, and the like). which leaves the in-between – the mundane – open to much speculation. some, I guess, tend to imagine that it's all very holy kinds of stuff, the sort of thing one might imagine someone in a monastery doing, various rituals and prayers and other high level spiritual endeavors (whatever those are!). today was a pretty typical mid-week day, so for those who are curious, here's how it's gone so far…
woke up, showered, and prayed the morning office (using a book of prayers called "The Divine Hours")
went downstairs, said hi to Ronni and the kids, ate breakfast in my office while browsing the morning news on the web.
read and responded to emails. one of them had to do with an outreach our church is participating in called "Boxes of Hope" – collecting supplies for people in need in New Orleans. someone wanted to know where to put them this week. I helped connect that person with someone else in the church helping with the project, and by the end of the days the boxes had been moved from the sanctuary of the church to the garage, making some more space in the sanctuary for a wedding I'll be officiating on saturday. another email had to do with our church's compassion ministry, and some thoughts the leaders of the ministry had about how to handle a decision related to turkeys and thanksgiving. I offered my input, which was basically a "fine with me" message, and then tracked other leaders' input throughout the day. a third email was an update from some missionaries the church supports. I read it, offered a brief prayer for them, and forwarded it on to a leader in the church for thoughts on the best way to communicate it to the church at large. A couple of other emails were related to prayer requests and scheduling details for meetings coming up later in the week.
watched a NOOMA (Rob Bell) DVD that the home group Ronni and I lead is going to watch and discuss tonight. Looked over the discussion questions that came along with it in order to be better prepared to lead the group tonight. talked with Ronni about a few other small group details related to our meeting tonight.
drove to the church office and spent a few minutes preparing for a pre-marital preparation session with a young couple scheduled to be married this fall. met with them for about an hour and a half, talking about families of origin, and how that impacts their relationship with each other and so forth.
met with my assistant and overall office jack of all trades Wendy about upcoming events in the church – weddings, outreaches, scheduling details – the bulletin announcements needed this week, newcomers, and various other tasks she is involved in. that meeting probably lasted about an hour and a half as well.
grabbed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for a late lunch at home and returned a phone call from someone in the church who has experienced God helping them with some really cool changes in their life, and who wanted to talk about the possibility of sharing her story with the church sometime.
drove back to the church to meet with Jon, the church's youth pastor. we spent the first part of the meeting doing a debrief on his sermon this weekend (it was excellent! but alas the whole thing didn't record, otherwise I'd put a link to it up here so you can listen to it). then we spent some time strategizing about the youth ministry, talking about various situations, about ways to help the students be fully engaged with God's activity in their lives, and about ways to help the ministry be as effective as possible.
drove home to eat dinner with some folks from our small group (as soon as I finish this blog entry) and then heading off to Prarie Lane for our group tonight. prayed the vespers office.
I've been under the weather a bit with a cold, so, alas, I had to pass on one of my favorite tuesday activities, the neighborhood garbage can patrol, but other than that, it was pretty representative.