10,080 minutes in the life of a pastor

How do you measure a week? In baptisms, in funerals, in justice, in cups of coffee?

My apologies for my meter-minded friends who are cringing over the title

My friend Rev. Becca Clark and I got to participate in a “shadow pastors” project by the United Methodist Reporter. They wanted to know what an average week was like for four very different pastors in very different contexts. So for a week we logged our every pastoral action (minus congregants’ personal info, of course) and UMR staffer Mallory McCall compiled it. It is really interesting to read the final project and look at the breadth of actions that pastors do.

Sound familiar? This project reminded me of our own #Pastors24 project (and Becca’s #OurExamen project) where the great diversity of pastoral concerns and activities was exhibited. I think any article that raises awareness about what we do all day is a commendable one, and any project that makes pastors more human and approachable absolutely makes my calling easier.

Here’s the article: Shadowing Pastors: A Week in the Life of a UM Pastor

There were obviously space restrictions (as with any print media) and I regret that in the UMR article, my Wednesday activities do not indicate the reality that that’s my heaviest ministry day. On that particular day, I had a lunch meeting, a funeral, an after-school program, and a youth bible study. Whew! I promise I did not sit on facebook all day! Ha!

For people that are interested, I’ve uploaded my log for that week to Google and you can download it or view it here for your own enjoyment and/or stalking pleasure.

Stardate: PastorsLog

Thanks to the UMReporter for the opportunity, glad to get to know Revs Brown & Lyon (and Clark, of course!) a little better…and I hope readers of the blog enjoy the article.

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  1. says

    I wondered why it seemed like one of the pastors only worked 3 days…duh, of course they edited things down!

    Does the church pay for your unlimited texting plan?

  2. says

    I was amused in the article with how many daily reports started with “Had the day off but…” and then proceeded to describe mostly full days of pastoral ministry. Good for you for only unlocking the building on Friday!

    • says

      Yeah, I was totally guilty of that– twice. Although I wanted to really point out that one of my days off was compromised by a mandatory conference training (at which they told us to have good boundaries and not give up family time. hmm). I’m not trying to be snarky or anything, but the reality is that I sometimes feel squeezed in, and there are things I *like* to do for which I’ll make time, even on a day off (like lead devotions at the state house, which is a kind of cool thing), and there are things that I end up *having* to do (like trainings and things), and then that personal time gets compromised. The week depicted was actually much more structured than I usually am, but I always find it helpful to reflect on what I do that no one knows about or sees and what the challenges, highlights, and moments of grace are.

      For me one thing that wasn’t included that I wished was is that I indicated my high and low for the week. Low was the insurance meeting, just because it became anxious and less than uplifting. High was the meeting with a candidate for ministry. I’m mentoring three people at various stages of the process, and each one is an inspiration to me and a reminder of how blessed I am to be called.

      Sheesh, Becca. Get your own blog post. Okay, I will.



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