Preach the Word – March/April 2011

Volume 14, Number 4

Key Issue #3: Guarding Sufficient Time for Sermon Work in Busy Schedules

Helping resolve the tension between time spent with people and time spent in the Word – practical ways to shape schedules to reflect preaching’s importance

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As a companion to the March/April 2011 issue of Preach the Word, we offer these resources for further study by individuals, study groups, or circuits:

Study Aids

In response to a request from a pastoral circuit, Pastor Daron Lindemann and the author are partnering to put together a set of application and discussion questions to accompany each issue of Preach the Word beginning with Volume 14 Number 4 (March/April 2011). We hope this added resource can help both individual pastors, as well as study groups or circuits, to gain even more from each edition of the newsletter.

Book Reviews

Even though Richard Koch’s The 80/20 Principle is written for a business audience, the busy pastor will find much food for thought to apply to his work schedule. Koch encourages his readers to ponder what is currently on our “to-do” lists that hinders rather than helps us carry out gospel ministry.

In The Hamster Revolution, Mike Song, Vicki Halsey & Tim Burress provide multiple practical suggestions to help us get off the treadmill when it comes to clearing out the email inbox.

Time Management Interviews

These four videos offer a brief introduction and then a series of three interviews devoted to helping pastors grow in managing themselves in God’s gift of time. The interviews were recorded at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in January and February of 2011. Each interview is also available as a downloadable MP3 to listen to on the go. Look for the audio link just below the video in each interview.

Introduction and Purpose of Videos

Managing Ourselves in Time to Preserve Time for Preaching

The pastor harried by time pressures may nod politely about preaching growth, but he’s already telling himself, “No time for this.” … This issue’s goal is to provide insights so that sermon work continues to be much more joy than drudgery for us…and our hearers.

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When 6 + 4 = 22!

Pastors with “effective” congregations that retained visitors spent an average of 22 hours a week on sermon preparation. Pastors revolving door congregations spent an average of only 4 hours a week on sermon preparation. Where did that extra time come from?

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80/20 and the Pastor

The 80/20 Principle asserts that a minority of causes, inputs, or effort usually lead to a majority of the results, outputs, or rewards. Taken literally, this means that, for example, 80 percent of what you achieve in your job comes from 20 percent of the time spent. Thus for all practical purposes, four-fifths of the effort—a dominant part of it—is largely irrelevant.

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1 Hour + 1 Day + 1 Week

Take 1 hour to plan your week, 1 day to plan your month, and 1 week to plan your year. Such sabbaticals help us manage ourselves in God’s gift of time by refocusing on God’s grace that first called us to be his own and then entrusted to us public ministry and royal priestly callings.

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