Like any relationship, it’s important to communicate and make ourselves available to one another. Let me just say how great it’s been in our brief time together getting to know you and I certainly want to continue in that process! One of my favorite parts about ministry is getting to know people and building relationships.
That said, now is probably a good time to do just that by setting up some opportunities for us to meet and get to know one another. I would love to hear all about you, your life, what makes you tick, and your love for and involvement in our church. I thrive in structure but can at times have a hectic schedule. I believe it’s best to utilize certain times for meeting together for these initial gatherings as I simply cannot have the kinds of conversations I’d like to on Sunday mornings and Wednesdays. I would like to invite you to join me sometime soon for lunch (12:30), coffee (2:00pm), or dinner. If your schedule allows it and you would like to have lunch or coffee on Tuesday, please contact Mary Saunders (firstname.lastname@example.org - 804-266-3076 ext. 301) in the church office to set a time for us to meet. In June, Stephanie and I will begin hosting anyone desiring to have a meal with us on Tuesday evenings at 6pm in our home. I realize that people operate on different schedules, so my desire is to leave room for several opportunities. I would love to meet with you and always serve you in any way that I can.
In addition to this, it’s best the church becomes familiar with how my schedule operates both professionally and as a family man. As I’ve mentioned before, time management and prioritizing my family is extremely important for me and our church as it’s required that I shepherd my family before I can faithfully shepherd God’s (1 Tim.3:4-5). I block off Friday’s for what I call Family Friday where I devote that day to my family. Typically, I’ll spend the day with the kids and give my wife some relief from all she does in caring for them. At night, we try to have date nights when possible to ensure we spend time together and focus on our marriage. Saturdays are utilized for being around the home and tending to things as needed. It’s not uncommon that I will be at the church on Saturday usually as a time set for administrative efforts, crisis, further study for Sunday, or working towards my doctorate. Sunday is the Lord’s Day and the highlight of my week as I get to spend time with my flesh and blood family and faith family as we come together to worship God. I LOVE SUNDAY!
As I’ve mentioned, I thrive in structure and like to be as ordered as possible but because ministry is about people it demands that I also be flexible and available to people as needed for specific situations. Here’s how I’ve found it best for me to love God, my family, and church more efficiently throughout a typical week:
I devote all mornings to prayer and sermon preparation. Because my main role as a pastor is to shepherd the flock of God through the Word of God (Acts 6, 2 Tim.2-3), my priority each week is to spend time with God in prayer and deep study of His word so that I can deliver messages that impact that totality of the church. From 8:30AM until 1PM my door is closed for prayer and study. Let me add that this is not done to keep people out, but to keep myself in the presence of God. I do not close my door because I do not want to meet with anyone and serve them or because I’m being unfriendly or unloving; but because the most loving thing I can do for our church each week is to be well prepared and prayed up as we open God’s Word together. Because I typically spend 8-10 hours for each sermon/lesson I preach/teach, I must utilize my time well and mornings are the best time for clear thinking and study. With that said, there will be times of emergency and crisis in which I will be away from the office and available to those in dire need of care. I want to be available and open to all who need to meet with me; but because I must first care for the entire church, mornings are essential for time alone with the Lord. Paul tells us in Ephesians 4 to “redeem the time” (Eph.5:14-15). The best way to do that is to consider what’s most beneficial for God’s people and His plans – which is always most clearly communicated through faithful biblical preaching and teaching.
Since I block off mornings for study and prayer, that leaves my afternoons wide open for administrative work, counseling, and visitors to pop in. When my door is open each afternoon, feel free to come and see me. If you need to schedule a specific time to meet with me, please contact Mary and I would love to meet with you some afternoon.
I do my best to devote evenings to my family to spend time with them and help my wife at home. While there are events and meetings on occasion that require my time, I do all I can to be able to tuck my children into bed each night and pray with them. While I strive to give 110% to the Lord’s work and advancing God’s kingdom, I do not want to look back in my latter years of life and regret that I did not spend enough time with my children. Time is fleeting, and life happens in a hurry (James 4:14). For that reason, we must order our lives in such a way that we make maximum impact for King Jesus in all that we do and be found faithful. This is true of all Christians as we seek to submit all our activities, energy, and time under His rule.
Please feel free to contact me through email at email@example.com or call my direct office line at the church at (804) 266-3076: ext. 302.
You are dearly loved by your new pastor and I want to always be available to serve you as best I can. Words cannot express how grateful I am to serve our church. Our future will be a great one as long as we look to glorify God together in unity and advance His kingdom around our community and to the ends of the earth.
God bless you,