There are many wonderful aspects of being the Lead Pastor of the E-Free Church here in Gaylord, Michigan, but the best part by far is being able to teach the Word of God to a wonderful congregation who so clearly desire to learn the Bible. As a result, a good portion of my week is spent studying and preparing for each Sunday's message. But a typical week also includes staff meetings, worship design group meetings, my weekly radio program, leadership meetings, one-on-one meetings with each ministry staff member; counseling appointments and other outside meetings and engagements.
But I have made it a practice to set aside one week each month as a study week. On this week, I don't have any of my one-on-one meetings with our ministry staff nor do I take any counseling appointments or other outside meetings. This week is set aside primarily for study. Along with preparing for the next Sunday, I also use this week to do my initial study and make my rough draft outlines for the series of messages that will take place four months down the road. This allows me to get these outlines to our Creative Ideas Group three months in advance so that they have a full month to prayerfully work through them before our Creative Meeting to plan the series which takes place two months in advance. My Study Week allows me to be able to plan enough ahead to allow our Creative Ideas Group the time they need to put together the creative elements that help our congregation better connect to the truth of God's Word.
This week is my study week for January. I am using part of this week to continue to prepare for this Sunday as we continue our study in the life of Noah by studying Genesis 8. I am using the remainder of the week to study in advance and make my rough draft outlines for our series scheduled for May which will be a series called "Lean On Me" as we learn from the New Testament character of Barnabas how we can be better encouragers to those around us.
I love my Study Week. I love taking a week each month to devote almost fully to study. Yesterday it was even more special as the whole time I was pouring into the Word of God I was watching the snow fall and blow outside my office window. It was both beautiful and inspiring.