Worker's Stewardship of Time

More than perhaps any other group of workers, church pastors or district ministers are on their own when it comes to the administering of their days. . .

-Assistant Treasurer, General Conference at the time this article was written

More than perhaps any other group of workers, church pastors or district ministers are on their own when it comes to the administering of their days.

True, there are regular appointments throughout the week that .are on recurring schedules, but these consume comparatively few of the weekly hours.

For the minister who is the pastor of one or possibly two churches a well-defined daily program planned on an hour-by-hour basis is the only answer to frustration and muddling through week after week.

Of course, the minister must be on call whenever needed, and these calls will interrupt but need not totally disrupt the daily and weekly schedule.

A Study Desirable

It is highly desirable that wherever possible the pastor have a study—preferably at the church—and that he have office hours when he can be reached at the study. Such an arrangement has definite advantages.

1. Church members know they may reach the pastor at such times without feeling they are imposing on him.

2. Opportunity is afforded to have conferences without family interruptions, which are bound to occur when the study is in the parsonage.

3. When not occupied in conferences the time may be employed profitably for study or planning.

Organized Visitation Program

The pastor's visiting program should be on a well-organized basis. It should be consistent and carried out in a businesslike manner, without seeming to be so. Every minister has members with whom it is more pleasant to visit than with others. Long pastoral visits can be very time consuming, and thus destructive of the well-planned program. Unless the members of the family being visited have unusually critical problems, visits should be brief, friendly, and informal, yet contribute much to the spiritual tone and well-being of the members. No matter how short the visit it should always be concluded with a short earnest prayer for the member, the family, and any special needs. Such visits will do much to maintain and build up the spiritual tone of the church.

Time for Relaxation

Relaxation is essential in a program as full and demanding as that of the 'minister. If your program is well organized it will have some time for personal and family fun and relaxation. A weekly work schedule that lacks time for recreation and time off is in complete.

Years of personal experience both as a worker and as an administrator have convinced me that one of the most critical problems facing young ministers fresh from the regimented life of college and seminary is the wise apportioning of hours and days.

For most of us the only genuine contribution we can make to the cause of God is to employ our time as efficiently as possible in our efforts to bring the gospel to men and women for whose salvation we are responsible.

Far from bringing on feelings of regimentation and restriction, a well-organized daily, hourly calendar will free the worker for constructive thinking and advance planning. It will permit devoting more time to devotion and Scripture study and will assure the members that their pastor is alert, interested in them personally, and accomplishing things for the good of the church.

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-Assistant Treasurer, General Conference at the time this article was written

January 1968

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