Cruce Tectum

Cruce tectum, hidden under the cross, a blog for Epiphany Lutheran Church, Dorr, Michigan

Location: Moscow, Idaho

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What Does a Pastor Do the Rest of the Week?

Pastor’s Window for June 2008

What Does a Pastor Do the Rest of the Week?

Beloved in the Lord,

Since I only see most of you once or twice a week, primarily on Sunday mornings, you may wonder what I do with the rest of the time. I confess that when I was a layman, particularly when I was a kid, before I began my studies for the Holy Ministry, I wondered about that myself. And of course, there is the old joke that the pastor should have plenty of time since he only works on Sunday mornings (if only that were true!). This article is only about my pastoral schedule. I’m sure there are many other pastors who do other things and who order their schedules much more efficiently. You all know my Sunday schedule, but what do I do the rest of the week?

During the “work week” (Tuesday through Saturday) my day begins at 6 am. I prefer 6:30, but Madelyn insists on 6. By 7:30 I’m out the door for my ethics class at West Michigan Lutheran High School, a class that is coming to an end as you receive this newsletter. While I’m up in the Kentwood/Grand Rapids area, I often make hospital and shut-in calls. I usually make 2 or 3 calls per week, depending on the week. This includes a lot of time on the road. On Tuesday mornings after class, I get together with some of the Grand Rapids area pastors for a study of one of the New Testament readings for the upcoming Sunday. We study these readings in Greek. It is an honor to sit at the feet of these wiser and more experienced pastors, and very valuable for sermon preparation. If I’m not making a call or attending the pastors’ study, I get back to the church between 9:30 and 10. When I get back to the church, I usually pray Matins (p. 219 in LSB), or if there is not enough time in the morning, for example on Wednesdays when we have our 10:30 Bible Class or when someone stops in to chat, I pray Vespers in the afternoon (p. 229 in LSB). The prayer services are called “The Offices.” I use the daily office to structure my devotional reading and prayers for the sick and the suffering among us, for our congregation and the whole Holy Christian Church, for other pastors, for missions, for our nation and our authorities, our military, and our world. I often pray the same prayers we pray together on Sunday morning, in addition to other collects and prayers. During this devotional time I also pray for each member of our congregation by name.

By then it’s usually lunchtime, and while I’m eating I do some miscellaneous reading and studying. Afternoons often include another shut-in call closer to home, but are primarily dedicated to study and meditation on the sermon for the upcoming week, as well as the actual writing of the sermon. Each week I print out the readings and collect for the upcoming Sunday for study and meditation each day. In preparation I read books and commentaries and sermons by other pastors on the text. Afternoons are also spent in preparation for Bible classes, service planning, and writing newsletter articles like this one, as well as other projects for which it is difficult to make time. In the early afternoon I try to make time for exercise at least 3 days a week (I always take study material with me), and be home in time for dinner and family devotions. Often I take some work home with me in the evenings. Wednesdays are a whole different animal, with Catechism class at 4:45, community supper at 6, and Bible Study/Eucharist at 7 (I’m thankful for the summer break, though I’ll miss each of these activities). This doesn’t take into account preparations for special services in Lent and Advent and midweek festivals like Ascension, nor our Adult Information Class held each Fall, meetings, calls on members, and the daily tasks of office administration. I wish I could say things always work out according to schedule, but they never do. Every week something comes up that requires a tweaking of the schedule. Saturday usually ends up being a catch up day for all that didn’t get done on the weekdays. And Summer ends up being the catch up season for all that didn’t get done the rest of the year.

What is great about this schedule, as you can see, is that my week is consumed with the Word of God and prayer, and I even get to receive Holy Communion several times a week. I’ll write more about this next month on the basis of what the Twelve Apostles said of their ministry: “we will devote ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4; ESV).

Pastor Krenz


Blogger Ryan said...

This reminds me of an event that happened to me when I was younger, a little boy actually maybe four or five.

My father is a Pastor, and one Sunday morning at church, one of the parishoners asked me if I wanted to be a pastor like my dad when I grew up. My response was a little ignorant to say the least. I responded saying "No, I want to work for a living."

Of course I now have been able to see my Dad through the eyes of an adult and realize that he is probably the hardest working person I know.

8:26 AM  
Blogger Pastor Krenz said...


That's what I thought as a kid, too, as I mentioned. The difficult part is I think a lot of adults have a similar, albeit perhaps milder, misconception of what a pastor does, thus the article I wrote for our newsletter. I don't face a lot of that misconception here at Epiphany as far as I know, but I'm being proactive.

You have a great blog, by the way. Thanks for reading this humble blog, which has unfortunately just turned into a sermon archive. Oh well!

The Lord be with you!

11:27 AM  

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