Sundays require stamina. We have four worship services—one in Spanish and three in English. I preach the three English-speaking services: 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11:00 a.m. I have to train my body and mind to keep the energy up throughout the morning. Often, I have at least one, if not two other speaking responsibilities following the three morning services.
It may seem strange, but I have to be strategic with the time between each of the services. People approach me in rapid-fire succession. There are emergency times of prayer, evangelism opportunities, quick counseling sessions, and, oh by the way, the gym commode is overflowing. Where’s the plunger? I love every minute of it, even the plunging.
How do I manage the time between services? How do I make these twenty minutes strategic?
MBWA. Or “management by walking around.” The term was coined by management expert Tom Peters. Studies show successful managers learn about employees through informal means of communication. It’s the same for pastors. You will have some of your best conversations by simply walking around the campus when everyone is there. I walk the halls every Sunday. And I learn something valuable every time.
Greet. Until you get down off the platform and shake hands with people, you’ll be the one “up there.” Shepherding from the stage is important but inadequate on its own. The best shepherds are among the people and with the people. Pastors should be the chief greeters of their churches on Sundays. It may seem like a small thing, but your church needs to know you’re accessible. Most will never approach you if they’ve only seen you from the stage. Sundays are your opportunity to meet a large group of people in a short amount of time.
Pray. Rare is the Sunday I don’t pray with someone between services. The message is fresh in minds. Worship has softened hearts. It’s a great time to show someone how to seek God in prayer.
Recharge. A big Sunday breakfast is not an option for me because burping in an over-the-ear mic is not the best preaching technique. I eat two granola bars. It’s just enough without giving me gas. Without a lot of fuel, I’ve had to figure out other ways to keep the blood sugar stable. For whatever reason, three or four jelly beans between each service work for me. I sit for five minutes and snack. My preference is licorice.
There are two things I don’t do between services: Hide and check my phone. It’s weird when the shepherd hides from the sheep. Additionally, I put my phone in my desk and leave it there. I don’t want to be the pastor with his head constantly down.
The time between services is strategic. Be a good steward of this time.