What do you do? I love this question. Especially when it is followed by– I see you on Sundays, but… what do you do? How do you spend your time? I really do love this question– and I love hearing about how you all spend your time. I’m always curious about what lawyers and bankers and Hill Staffers do during the week. We all seem very busy. What are we DOING? This is a good week to give you a peek into my world.
Mondays: I’m off. I sleep in. I read the Sunday Washington Post. I take my kids to school. I have lunch with Laurel. I read stuff that has nothing to do with ‘church’. I have a more leisurely workout. I pick my kids up from school. I try to not check any email. Mondays are my Sabbath. I’m trying to get better at resting…
Tuesday: I get up between 5 and 5:30, have some time with God and 30 minutes of exercise. This week I had a breakfast meeting at 6:30 with the Long Range Facility Team. These fantastic servants meet once a month. I run home to help get the kids out the door. My office is in the Southgate complex at The Falls Church (Erin and Becky also have offices here, Andrew has an office in a closet at TFC– we hope to be moving to new office space this summer.) I work on my sermon from 9:30-12:00 with a 30 minute interruption for a conference call with Anglican District of VA pastors at 10. At noon, I drive to McLean to have lunch with a new couple at our church. I get to hear their story, their passions, what makes them tick… I love these conversations. From McLean, I drive to the ‘bucks in Arlington at Spout Run (I spend a lot of time here). For about 45 minutes I answer email as fast as I can, then I meet a colleague who is considering a vocation shift. I love this guy and his heart for ministry. He leaves after an hour and Matt Hoppe walks in after a long day teaching 5th grade. Matt and I talk for an hour about worship equipment, worship music, worship space, kids, family, houses… I have one of these meetings with each of our staff once a month. This is my chance to hear and pray about what is happening below the task lists and agendas. Matt is such a gift to Restoration. I throw Matt out of ‘bucks at 4:25 so I can write a few more emails, then I sprint home for my weekly piano lesson at 5. My boys go first and I roll in for the grand finale. Fun to do this together. 5:40 I throw all 3 kids in the car and take Macrae and a friend to lacrosse practice. Home by 6:15– hand the kids to Laurel and I leave for the church to meet the caterer. 40 people show up around 7 for our new member dinner. We have tables set up in every open space downstairs. What a fun night– great conversations, great ideas and dreams for Restoration. I am so thankful for the people God keeps bringing to Restoration. The dinner wraps up at 9. I usually have an evening meeting on every Tuesday– vestry, small group leaders, etc. Andrew T, his brother, and I tear everything down and put the tables away. Home around 10, house is asleep…
Wednesday: up early again. I lead a weekly small group at 6:30am. As usual, I’m a few minutes late… Back home by 7:45– we have plumbers and pest control people arriving at 8 because our house has been infested with rats. I greet them and help them find everything they need. I say a big prayer that they finally get rid of them all… yuck. 9-11:30 is spent in sermon prep. At 11:30 I touch base with Becky about the worship guide, expense reports, paying the caterer, re-keying the doors at church, mailing thank you notes, purchasing stationary and 9volt batteries… at 12:30 I arrive in Alexandria to have lunch with David Glade, the pastor of TFC’s Alexandria church plant, Christ the King. Nothing urgent on the agenda– just talking about buildings, vestries, staff hires, vision for the future, and families. Glade is a great guy and I appreciate him as a colleague. About 2, I arrive at the Lee-Heights ‘bucks in Arlington (I spend a lot of time here, too) and furiously write email for 30 minutes. Erin Bair walks in at 2:30 and we have our monthly ‘below the surface’ check in like I had with Matt the day before. I am so thankful for Erin’s partnership and concerned as she limps around from her sprained ankle– pastoring is a dangerous job 🙂 At 3:45 all the staff gather at Louise Brooks’ house for our weekly staff meeting. We spend 10 minutes in silence, listening to God and what He is saying about us, our roles, and the church. We share for a few minutes, then we pray for a while about what God is doing in us and through us. Around 4:30 we talk through business– issues with the facility, outreach plans in May, a car wash for AFAC, middle school plans, creating better systems for connecting new comers to the church, any special needs for the Sundays in May… staff meetings are mostly a chance for us to pray together and to talk about any issues that are concerning us. God is really developing us into a team and I’m thankful for that. At 5:30 I get home, help with dinner, get the kids down, and enjoy a night at home.
Thursday: 2 writing blocks of 2 hours today. A conference call at noon with our treasurer, vestry folks, and facility folks. Thursdays are the day I write the small group leader guide and pull the sermon into a rough presentable format… ideally 🙂
Friday: I take Helen to pre-school. I have lunch with people in the church. I finish writing in the afternoon.
Thursdays and Fridays have much fewer meetings and much more time to write and pray. I like having days like Tue/wed AND having days like Thur/Fri. It is a fun, high energy week. Saturday night, after the kids are down, I’ll do one more review of stuff for Sunday. Then I’ll get up early on Sunday and look at it again. Staff and volunteers start arriving at church at 7 and we are ready to go by 8:15– usually 🙂
Bottom line, I love this job. I love how I spend my time. I love the variety of meetings and people I talk with. I love how many different kinds of things I have to think about and do each week– keeps me interested and out of trouble. What are your favorite blocks of time during the week?