WHAT WORKS FOR ME… In Organizing My Weekly Schedule

Roger Hernandez (PASTORVHA@aol.com), Senior Pastor, Hillsboro Spanish District (OR Conf) writes:

1. I give a copy of my schedule to my church and ask them to sign up to be visited. This shows them what I am doing when.

2. I divide my day into 3 parts– 8am-12noon, 1-4pm and 5-9pm. Two of those are for work and one for me (family etc). It may vary day to day, but it helps keep the day flowing.

3. I ask for input from my board concerning my weekly schedule.

Steve Leddy, Lead Pastor, 24-Seven Seventh-day Adventist Ministry Center (WA Conf) writes:

To say that I am not a naturally gifted organized person would be a gross understatement. Yet, to be effective as a pastor and to try to build each piece of a new church with a predominately untrained (at least in church leadership) laity like we have at 24-Seven Ministry Center, I had to overcome my disorganized nature.

I tried several techniques over the years but seemed to get frustrated and eventually gave up on each. I did the time tracking method but that took so much time doing the tracking it would interfere with what I supposed to be tracking. I tried listing everything I could think of that needed to be done each week but again it took a great deal of time listing the items, the list continually grew throughout the week, I caught myself gravitating to the tasks that were easier to complete, and I became discouraged because it seemed impossible to get all the items done.

Finally, I came up with a simple idea that really seems to work well. It consists of two parts: first, our leadership team determines quarterly what our two highest strategic initiatives (goals) are for the quarter. We then meet bi-monthly to tactically work through each initiative (create action plans). Second, each week both my Teaching Pastor, Matthew Gamble, and I create a “Top 3” list. This is a list of our three highest priorities for the week including a brief description of why this a top 3 priority, the steps needed and the estimated time it will take to complete the goal, and who will be my accountability partner to ensure I stay on task. At least one of these “Top 3” will be addressing a current strategic initiative. I never schedule more than 30 hours for these priorities because there are always other details demanding my attention as well as unforeseen issues to deal with. I can send you one if you e-mail me at steve@24-seven.org.

Then, each Monday Matthew and I get together to review how we did the previous week and to go over our new “Top 3s”. This has been a tremendous help in getting this disorganized pastor truly organized.

Matthew Gamble, Teaching Pastor, 24-Seven Seventh-day Adventist Ministry Center (WA Conf) adds:

Every week since January of this year, Pastor Steve Leddy (Lead Pastor @ 24-SEVEN Ministry Center) and I fill out a form that he created called our Top Three. On the form are three sections labeled Priority One, Priority Two and Priority Three. As we sit down individually to prepare the form, we consider what are the most urgent needs of this week? We filter this question by asking an additional one: “And how does this priority fit in with our churches priorities that have been identified by our leadership team (we call these strategic initiatives)?”

After discovering each top priority, the next line on the form asks “Why am I doing this?” This statement reminds us of the importance of the task at hand. Lastly we write down the steps that are required to complete the task and the estimated hours that it will take to complete it. Upon getting a rough estimate of how much time each priority is going to take, we then move to our calendars and schedule the time in.Every Monday when we meet we review our last weeks Top Three and share this weeks Top Three. This has proven to be a great way to keep each other accountable and more effective in the field as we are setting out each week with a clear cut plan of intentionality. I will be happy to send anyone the template that I use. Just shoot me an email to matthew@24-seven.org.

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