What I Learned in Tracking Time

After eight weeks of tracking my time in hopes of discovering what I was actually doing as an interim pastor, here’s what I found out:

1) Keeping productivity in the front of your mind is good for accountability and well…productivity, but doesn’t do much for the enjoyment/fulfillment factor.  It’s not that I’m normally not productive, but there is a certain spontaneity I enjoy that I found slipping during my hyper-vigilance.  Pedal to the metal has always been my norm, but watching the details up close got pretty tedious.

2) I spend 35% of my time prepping for worship.  That means song choices, worship-team personnel (choices, development, and troubleshooting), long and short term planning, both A Cappella and Instrumental rehearsals, managing an intern, preparing lead sheets and other music, as well as researching trends and future resources.  Which is fine if that’s the focus of my job description.  Which it’s not…not exactly, anyway.

3) Almost 40% of my time is spread over a dozen areas of concern.  Which means a whole lot of little is being done.  It’s not that small steps can’t be effective (you have to start somewhere, how do you eat an elephant, and all that), but unless there is some critical mass toward a project or area of focus, not much is going to happen.  Of course, some of this is personal interchange, just being with people in the playing out of life, and who knows how God really uses us in those moments.  But again, when I think about making the kind of impact that’s needed, I probably need to look at cutting things away to get to the few areas of focus.

4) Here’s the big discovery: I’m not spending nearly enough time in refueling.  Sabbath, prayer, Lectio Divina, silence, staring into space (in the best of senses)…much of this has gotten away from me.  I know why, but it doesn’t bode well for the way I want to live my life.  Wake-up call.   No one is going to carve this time out for me.   And it’s worth noting that at the end of this eight-week time, after 405 hours in a period where I was gone most of two of those eight weeks, as I was walking out the door for a week’s vacation, I was pretty much at the end of my emotional and spiritual rope.  It’s common in ministry, I know.  I’m pretty sure it shouldn’t be.

It’s easy to fool ourselves about what we’re doing.   As a once-in-a-great-while exercise, this was worth doing.

Mining for wisdom…

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