Planning creates freedom. This little insight has made a tremendous difference in my life and ministry.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect coming in to the residency. Out of the eight men involved, I was the only one on staff at Christ the King Church. Not that this put me ahead of them by any means, but I just wasn’t sure how a pastoral residency would coincide with what my normal weekly tasks as the full-time Worship Music Leader.
To some degree, I would say I didn’t have particular expectations and that was helpful when certain things came up that caught me off-guard (i.e. the amount of theological training and reading involved). Conversely, that was the main thing I wish I had seen coming and planned for a little better in my weekly schedule. Believe it or not, it is extremely hard, even in full-time ministry, to find time to read and do assignments if you don’t block out your schedule and let it dictate your time. I think it’s a common misconception that people in ministry get to hang out, pray and read their Bibles all day like the job is a 40 hour a week quite time (or jam session). This is far from true.
Learning how to block out my schedule was one of the most helpful parts of the coaching piece of the program for me. The urgent vs. the important is a battle we all face in ministry and if you don’t make time for the “important,” bigger-picture things, you’ll never get to them. The reality is Sundays are always around the corner for us but that can’t take us away from thinking and working on things that should happen later in the year or even years down the line.
Since my job involves music, art, people, teams, systems, etc., I have to be evaluating, creating and planning all the time. I used to believe some of those things need to happen organically or it was not authentic but since then I have learned those aspects of my role will be the first thing to get cut out due to the “urgent” (Sunday).
The residency program, specifically the coaching aspect, has been extremely helpful to me. Even now as I write this, I am able to feel freedom from other tasks because I made time for it. Planning creates freedom. I’m still learning this and tweaking it, but I am very grateful that the residency program helped me is this way.