One Pastor's Weekly Routine

In terms of a work routine, every pastor has to figure out what works best for them.  (And maybe some never nail one down.)  But I am a creature of habit, and work best with a consistent routine.  For what it's worth, here's mine.  Maybe it will be a help to someone.

Monday:  Sabbath.  With rare exception, I crash on Monday.  I turn off my phone, and set up a "vacation reply" on my email.  I sleep in.  I fish.  I do yard work.  I balance the checkbook.  I run errands.  I take a nap.  I do lots of things, but none of them are church related.  Monday is refresh, reset and recharge day.  From the beginning, God established the principle of resting every seventh day.  If you are not practicing this, I encourage you to do so.  It doesn't have to be Monday, but you need to have a day of rest.  It will make you a more effective pastor in the long run.

Tuesday:  Office day.  Tuesdays are full of emails, telephone calls, writing notes to guests, and other miscellaneous office work.  I also schedule a lot of meetings, lunch appointments, etc. on Tuesdays.

Wednesday:  Wednesday is a mixture of office work, and lesson preparation for Wednesday night Bible study.  I also do some counseling on Wednesdays.  I generally try to get home earlier in the day on Wednesdays, so I have some down time before returning to church that night.

Thursday:  Visit day.  Thursday is generally the day that I try to visit our people in their homes.  My goal is to be in at least three homes every week.  That may not sound like a lot, but a dozen visits every month adds up to 144 home visits per year.  Most of these visits are with our elderly/homebound members.  I also use Thursday to make sure I have my stuff into our secretary for the Sunday bulletin, and to prepare announcement slides for the upcoming Sunday worship service.

Friday:  Sermon day.  If I have had a good/productive week, I only have one thing left to do on Friday - write the manuscript for the upcoming Sunday morning sermon.  Ideally, early in the week I have selected my text and have spent the week meditating on it, and formulating a rough outline/direction in my mind.  Friday, then, is when the serious study takes place, and the rubber meets the road.  (Or in this case, the fingers meet the keyboard.)  This typically consumes the better part of my day.

Saturday:  Flex day.  Often times there will be some kind of church activity, birthday party, etc. to attend on Saturdays.  If these things come up, they usually don't take up too much of the day.  If I have the day free, that's okay too!  I kinda go with the flow on Saturdays.  We typically do family things on this day.

Sunday:  Lord's day.  I arrive at church at 8:00 or a little after, and usually leave church by noon.  We typically eat out as a family, and then come home and nap.  I go back to church around 3:30-4:00, and organize my thoughts for Sunday night worship which starts at 6:00.  After Sunday evening worship, there is usually a meeting of some sort.  Typically around 8:00 I am leaving church, and then it's off to Subway for a sandwich to take home and crash in my recliner.  Sundays are exhilarating but also exhausting.  But then you know all about that, if you're a pastor.

And then of course any given week there are the unexpected things - hospital visits, funerals, conflict resolution, etc.  While it is important to protect certain days/times (I really try to protect my Mondays and Fridays), in many instances these things can't be put off.  When that's the case, I just go with the flow and do what I can do.  I hate finishing sermons on Saturday nights, but from time to time it is necessary.

In the end, it really helps to have a church that is understanding, trusting, and doesn't micromanage their pastor.  I am very blessed in that regard.

(One thing of note that you may have found missing is staff meetings.  I am the only full time staff member at our church, so we do not have weekly meetings.  I meet with our other pastors/ministers on staff the first Saturday of each month.)