When I ask pastors how long they generally preach I normally hear numbers like “between 30 and 40 minutes.” Sometimes close friends or parishioners smile 🙂 when they hear their pastor respond that way.
There are 10,080 minutes in a week.
We spend approximately 3,360 of those minutes sleeping and about 2,400 of them working.
So that leaves us about 4,320 minutes for everything else.
So here’s my question for you. If you are a pastor/communicator what kind of impact do you think you can have on people speaking to them 0.8% of leftover time?
The reality is there is no way in the world you can do everything to influence the church with just what you do with 35 minutes on the weekend. Certainly that time you have in front of the church each week is of high-value and you provide great content as given you by the Lord.
However, let’s think about this. Many pastors spend between 6 and 12 hours putting together one 35-minute message. To those lay people reading right now the answer is, “No. The sermon doesn’t just pop together at 9 AM on Sunday morning :)!
You study hard and pray fervently. You desire nothing more than for God to use your words to impact people at their point of need. But can you really do that fully and completely in 35 minutes? Every week? I suggest the answer is, “No, not to the extent you know it can.”
Pastors and church leaders are regularly looking for ways to impact people in real and tangible ways Monday through Saturday. It does not happen automatically just because you are the pastor. It happens when you take intentional steps to invest in people beyond the 35 minutes on the weekend.
You know what you ought to do? You should create your own virtual bookstore to let people into your head … in the right way 🙂
I met a ministry friend about two years ago who has really striven to address this issue for pastors. He has created a tool called Hubworthy – a virtual bookstore for pastors and churches – as a way to communicate things to people all week long.
I have to tell you, I am impressed with Hubworthy and what it does in resourcing pastors to resource their church.
When you connect with tools like Hubworthy you set the stage for creating greater and greater value to people in the church.
I have a pastor/friend of a very large church who regularly notes that staff and key volunteers need to know what is in his head as he leads the church. He is absolutely right in that assessment.
The Body itself needs to understand the underpinnings of thinking that bring great preaching to the table on the weekend. The smart and spiritually savvy pastor realizes that same rationale exists to resource the Body during the week – the other 99.2% of their available time.
What would it be like if you could resource the woman in your church with two kids who just received divorce papers? You did not even know there was trouble in the home.
What would it be like if an 80-year old long-time member of the church who loses a spouse could immediately go to your bookshelf to see what you recommend relative to shock and grief?
Can you imagine with me how valuable your recommendations would be to that couple that is struggling to maintain sexual purity before their wedding? They can go to a source where their pastor gives them guidance, the pastor not even knowing of their struggle?
These are very, very real issues you cannot possibly cover every weekend of the year. You are to preach the “whole” counsel of God. While those issues are clearly addressed in scripture, there simply is not enough time to always communicate on all subjects in 35 minutes a week. Can’t happen.
That’s why I am always looking for ways to increase my ability to communicate beyond the defined parameters of the norm. For example, in this blog I cannot possibly cover all things related to all aspects of leadership in the church. In another blog, I will cover other things but there is just too much to cover in 800 words.
So if I am doing my very best to communicate God’s truth on the weekend, I want to be able to amplify that the other 6.99 days of the week.
I am looking for ways to see exponential growth in people. I would do that in a variety of ways, not the least of which would be connecting the people of the church with the resources that help me craft that which I do in those 35 minutes … through my very own virtual bookstore.
You can’t do everything in 35 minutes – but you can do more than you have ever thought possible in the other 4,285 minutes of peoples’ non-sleep, non-work times. I want to challenge you to dream for exponential impact on lives and then intentionally implement a plan to do just that.
Do so and you’ll be glad you did! I promise!