Thursday, January 13, 2011

Weekly examen: week two

I can report that the outline of my first week at GSLC eventuated largely as I described it. The only thing that didn't happen were some of the nursing home visits, and this because I had that chest thing that it seems like everyone picks up some time during the winter months. I made these visits up in the second week, and look forward to getting around to the rest of our homebound members in the next week or so.

The second week has looked like this:

Sunday- Three sermons and worship leadership (sermons on the Isaiah text, Cyrus and Jesus at first two services, accompanied by slide show at the contemporary, then a verse by verse sermon Acts during the third service); visited Sunday school and taught "We are building up the temple"to the group; accompanied "this little light of mine" for 8 a.m. children's sermon and taught the acolyte class for lunch (actually, the 9th graders taught the class and I just hung out and learned from them and met the group)

Monday- Individual meetings with three of our program staff, afternoon visits to assisted living and nursing home; lots of phone calls

Tuesday- Preparation for bible studies, meeting with our Stephen's Ministry coordinator, coffee with the Bears group (they make bears for children in the emergency room and hospital), coffee with the mayor of Fayetteville, supper (wings) with a family from church, then 7 p.m. bible study of 1 Cor. 1:1-9

Wednesday- Noon bible study, afternoon conversations and planning of installation, two more individual staff meetings, planning meeting for church council, sound check of new audio system, then visited our LOGOS program and choir and ate supper in the Narnia themed space. I cannot begin to tell you how pleased I was to have to pass through a coat rack to get to my baked potato, at a table near the lamp post. Turkish delight, anyone?

Thursday- Hung last pictures on the office wall, wrote pastor's report, final plans for Sunday worship services, recognition of ministries service, baptismal service, phone call from local paper for article about installation, various other office duties, and coaching conversation Thursday afternoon

Some brief observations on how this second week has gone: First, I have given a lot of time to individual staff meetings, and I think this is a really good thing. I like our staff, enjoy working with them, and hope I can be a coach, pastor, and supporter for their ministries. I think working together in this way and staying in good communication will bear much fruit. I think it will be important for me to learn more about what it means to supervise and lead a staff. I know already that I love it, am thankful for the staff's graciousness in welcoming me, and look forward to our mutual ministry together.

Second, I have been learning that, ecclesiologically speaking, the pastor is a visible sign of unity in the church. This is an important theological point that is overlooked in much of the literature on the pastoral ministry, I think, or perhaps I should say I haven't noticed the point or read much about it.

Third, although I have had just enough time for study and sermon preparation, it hasn't been extravagant, and I'll need to protect more time for that. Similarly, although I have built some time into the week for prayer, I tend to think I'll need to schedule some more regular times for corporate prayer into the week.

Fourth, having a coach is spectacular. I recommend it to everyone. My own coach was trained through Coachnet ministries. We're very intentional about talking about my work plan and strategy, and he sends great notes following our phone conversations to remind me of the salient points and keep me on track for the next month's conversation. Accountability and conversation are gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Finally, I admit I didn't write a single word for the book of faith project I'm working on. Somehow anticipation of the baby, anticipation of the installation, and all the other new and thrilling and challenging aspects of life right now make it a bit hard to do big picture lesson plan composition. When do you write when you can't find time to write? The book-length answer to that question could sell lots of copies.

p.s. How do you spend your week? I love learning how people use their time, so feel free to post your own examen or link to your blog.


  1. Patricia in St. Paul10:26 PM

    Thanks for letting us glimpse you in the midst of ministry. Let's talk more about the writing.

  2. Glad to know the paper called. Crossing my fingers that the Fayetteville Flyer and Ozarks Unbound will too. I'll follow up with Citiscapes to be sure they received it.