Thursday, 4 February 2016

Three Things Every Pastor Should Do on Monday

Monday is the traditional day of rest for the typical pastor. Still, the pastoral task and the health of your church requires these three tasks to be done, with all diligence.

  1. Listen to your sermon. For the Western church, technology is so abundant that there really is no excuse for not reviewing an audio of your sermon--better still, a video. You will learn a great deal from playing it back. In many cases, you'll discover areas for improvement. You might even discover that you have speech habits that come across as slightly annoying to your congregation. Playing back the audio allows you to become a more effective communicator.
  2. Look at your membership/attendance roll. Effective pastoral care requires that you know who was in attendance and who was not. Some church members, who are otherwise regular, can easily miss two or even three Sundays without others in the congregation realizing it. You should have someone discretely record who is absent and who is present. On Monday, you need to review the attendance, making note of cards, phone calls, or visits that might be needed. 
  3. The review of attendance should be done prayerfully. I suggest that you review the attendance roll quietly, by yourself, in the sanctuary itself. As you read through the names, walk toward the pews where your congregants typically sit, and pray for each one, as the Spirit leads. This is good, basic pastoral care. It reminds you of the individual needs of your members. It also keeps their names fresh in your mind, so that you struggle less with remembering their names. I find prayer in an empty church sanctuary particularly moving.
After you do these three things, you can kick your shoes off and relax for the rest of the day.

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