We’ve been back from holidays 5 weeks now and its been good to settle into a steady rhythm of life. The first two weeks were quite weird as we adjusted to normal living, but we seem to have found our way again and are travelling well.
In getting back into church leadership one of the challenges has been the whole deal of teaching and the time it takes. I try to never spend more than 8 hours on a talk these days, but even that seems like a lot to me when I consider it to be half of the paid time I have allocated.
Previously when I worked several jobs simultaneously I used to just blur the edges and roll everything together. So long as the job got done I wasn’t counting hours or worried about short changing anyone. But in that time there was more similarity between the roles.
Now I hold two quite distinct paid roles and they don’t overlap very readily.
On Mondays and Fridays I like to put on my church leader hat while Tue-Thurs is when I pick up a shovel. Saturday is my day off from both and Sundays is a mix of church and relaxing. Life rarely works out as simply and discrete as I described it above ad inevitably I do some church stuff on Tues/Wed/Thur and occasionally a retic job pops up on a Monday or Friday that just needs attending to.
But for now that approach works well.
People have said to me ‘I guess while you’re digging a trench you can think about church stuff anyway?’ Oddly enough that’s not the case. As mundane as physical work may be I rarely find myself in a place to be dreaming or imagining and more often than not all that’s going thru my head when I’m digging are the words ‘dig… dig… dig…’
So it means that almost all of my focused thinking re church gets done on the days when I am not ‘reticing’ as I simply can’t find the mental space to do it while I am working and then in the evenings I am usually quite wiped out. I have found it hard to cope with being less tuned in at times, yet I am also appreciative of the fact that this is where 99% of people actually live.
While full time paid pastors get large swathes of time during the day to think thru the questions of church direction and strategy the part timers who work other jobs don’t have that luxury. While its frustrating at times, it helps me stay in touch with the average person is when it comes to church involvement. If people work hard during the day then chances are they haven’t got a lot emotional energy to give when they come to church meetings on an evening or a weekend.
It changes the way you look at church and leadership, but it also reshapes the way you look at life!