Tucked away in a book-filled study, the shepherd’s desk doesn’t capture imaginations. It’s only six feet by four feet of workspace, but the polished oak top serves as the kitchen for meals from heaven. The shepherd sits working long with careful eyes, observing the sacred text. Making certain the ingredients are handled with precision and care, he labors in the galley of study and prayer until the sermon is ready. The shepherd’s desk, although not spectacular in appearance, undergirds a heavenly work.
Lives are restored around this sacred desk. Tears of sheep and the shepherd alike stain the grains of wood. Some tears are shed in agony and others in joy. From the joys of youth to the pains of death, souls are unburdened and laid bare. Wisdom from God’s Word is shared and received as the pastor counsels his flock. Although many never see the work around the shepherd’s desk, the smile of heaven makes the work worthwhile.
The Bible intimidates many people. As a pastor, my task is to show my congregation how the Bible fits together and tells the story of God’s redemption through Jesus Christ. This is the reason I feel that sequential exposition of Scripture is the best (but not the only) method for pastoral preaching. However, one challenge I face is scheduling my preaching so that my parishioners get a well-rounded diet of God’s Word. It was this dilemma that led me to the discovery of the following resource.
I was familiar with the Simeon Trust but had not followed their podcast. Episode 8 deals with preparing a preaching calendar. So, if you’re like me and you want to be found faithful to expound the whole counsel of God to your people, please take a listen. Don’t forget to let me know what you think in the comments section.
Preachers’ Talk Episode 8: On Planning a Preaching Calendar – Charles Simeon Trust
Pastor, are you busy or do you have a full schedule? I can’t remember where I came across the idea, but there is a difference between the two. Or at least there is a distinction between how I perceive them and how others received them. A full day is better than a busy schedule. Let me explain.
If I think of my schedule as busy, my cheeks flush, and my neck muscles tighten. The idea of busyness, in my mind, brings feelings of being overwhelmed by an onslaught of tasks with little chance of productivity. A busy day is a day where I feel like Lucy in the chocolate candy factory. No matter how fast I try to gobble up the things coming my way, the conveyor belt of life seems to increase its speed. I’m reacting to notifications, emails, calls, and other interruptions as they come at me. In the end, I only look back and regret all that I didn’t get done for the day. Then the next day I feel like I’m already in a deficit and need to dig my way out.
If my schedule is full, there is an appropriate amount of time allotted for each task. It is possible to distribute your workload throughout the day, but it takes planning. Every day, I take a few minutes to schedule my day by using a time management technique called time blocking. (If you’re not familiar with it, check out this video by Cal Newport here.). By taking a few moments to plan, I shift from being reactive to proactive. Of course, you can’t plan for everything, and you’ll always have interruptions, but you can even schedule time for unexpected delays. By taking a few moments to plan and fill my agenda, I can look at my schedule and feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
Another reason a full day is better that a busy schedule is how it comes across to others. We all have people vying for our time. Can you do this for me? Can we have a meeting? I’ve come to realize that all reasonable people with accept that you have a previous obligation on the calendar. But almost everyone feels a little hurt when you make them feel that you don’t have time for them. Although you may love them dearly and never would want to upset them, it’s inevitable if they feel you’re too busy for them. Remember, most people spell love, T-I-M-E.
You make think it’s semantics, but I feel a full day is better than a busy schedule any day! What do you think, pastor? I’d love to hear your thoughts on time management in the comments section.