Friday, April 23, 2010

How Effective Pastors Use Their Time

Leaders of effective churches make certain that their family and work life is balanced, says Dr. Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Their research team asked over 200 pastors to provide them with an hour-by-hour calendar of a typical 168-hour week.
The study included 101 pastors who researchers called effective leaders because their churches ranked in the top five percent in conversion growth in American churches. A comparison group of pastors of similar number were leading churches that did not have significant conversion growth.
The following results show some of the most significant differences between the pastors of the effective churches versus the pastors of the comparison churches:
  • Pastors of effective churches sleep slightly over six hours per day. Pastors of comparison churches sleep almost eight hours per day.
  • Pastors of effective churches spend twenty-two hours in sermon preparation each week versus four hours for pastors of comparison churches.
  • The effective church leaders spent ten hours each week in pastoral care (counseling, hospital visits, weddings, funerals) compared to thirty-three hours for the comparison group pastors.
  • Effective church leaders average five hours per week in sharing the gospel with others. Most of the comparison church pastors entered "0" for their weekly time in personal evangelism.
  • Comparison church leaders spend eight hours a week — more than an hour each day — performing custodial duties at the church. The typical custodial duties included opening and closing the facilities, turning on and off the lights, and general cleaning of the building.
  • Leaders of effective churches average 22 hours a week in family activities. The comparison church leaders weren't too far behind with 18 hours of family time each week.
The time allocation of effective leaders seems to complement the way they describe their own leadership styles. In order to accomplish what they considered priority functions, they had to sacrifice in other areas. Thus, the effective leaders cannot do many of the responsibilities often expected of them as pastors — such as numerous hospital visits, counseling everyone and all of the custodial duties that may be expected of them — but they can oversee those responsibilities. []

(From FotF's Pastor's Weekly Briefing)

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