Monday 7 March 2011

A Week in the Life of a Pastor

This article appears in the March Issue of our Church Magazine. I was a bit reticent to share my week, in case people thought I was not doing enough. If they think that, no-one has told me yet!

I’ve been toying for some time with the idea of sharing a typical week in the life of a pastor. The trouble is that there is no such thing as a typical week! One week can vary immensely from the next. That is one of the joys and, sometimes, frustrations of the pastor’s calling. Also, some of the meetings and conversations I have must remain confidential. Nevertheless, with those provisos in mind, here is an attempt to share a week in the life of a pastor.


The high point of the week for any pastor. Today, I lead worship and preach at both services. I think they go well, although sometimes it’s hard to tell. The sermons that I feel are good ones can yield little obvious response, whilst those I’m less happy with may prompt many encouraging comments. God has this way of keeping preachers humble!


Like any other day, there are e-mails to send and phone calls to make. Today is the day when I begin looking towards the next Sunday, reading commentaries on the scripture readings and beginning to think about them and, hopefully, to pray and discern what God would have me say.

A great gift from the Lord in the afternoon! The sun is shining, and I have the opportunity to play golf. I feel reasonably satisfied with scoring 2 under my handicap, although a lost ball costs me a couple of strokes.

The evening involves taxi-ing my daughters to and from ‘Doodles’ at the church, and fitting in most of a meeting of the Florence House (our church's residential care home) Management Committee in between.


I begin the day meeting with our church officers, Hugh & Brian, as we prepare for a deacons’ meeting.

The afternoon finds me at the town hall, representing Churches Together at a Citizenship Ceremony. I have interesting conversations with several of the new citizens, including a young man from Algeria. A 4pm meeting gets cancelled, due to illness, giving me some unexpected time for bits and bobs.

In the evening, I meet with our music group as we practise for Sunday. It’s good to have a bunch of people who are committed to helping us in our worship.


Most of the morning is spent at home, preparing for various meetings. At lunchtime, those meetings begin and keep on going. I speak at the Cathedral’s Wednesday at One. Two afternoon meetings at church, and our evening prayer meeting follow that. A busy day, but a good one!


Today follows a similar pattern to yesterday – preparation at home, meetings from lunchtime on. A particular pleasure is lunch with other city centre clergy, courtesy of Father David and All Souls. Since we cannot all share the bread and wine of communion together, this is our Eucharistic meal and our way of catching up.

Later, there are three of our members to visit at the hospital and I’m glad of Costa Coffee at the new City Hospital in between times. The evening brings our deacons’ meeting, and our monthly attempt to finish by a reasonable time!


I finish the preparations for my two Sunday sermons. It’s good to have time for a few more visits to church members after that.


My day off – yesss!


As usual on Sunday, I’m at my desk by 6.30am, putting finishing touches to services and trying to discern if there’s anything else the Lord wants me to say.

This morning, I preach at Open Door Baptist Church, Harris Street. Since I have recently become their moderator during the interregnum, it’s a good opportunity to meet the church.

At lunchtime, we entertain our youthworker and her husband to a meal, when it’s good to share news. In our evening service, we conclude our preaching series on Revelation. Then, it’s home for supper and collapsing on the sofa.

Tomorrow, it all begins again!

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