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Many years ago my team did a time study of a pastor’s work week. The study group of pastors spent an average of 22 hours a week in sermon preparation. The study is dated but telling. The pastoral activity which requires the most time often goes unseen by most church members. Indeed, some members think pastors spend a lot of time enjoying coffee shops and listening to music through their ear buds.
Pastors - Sermons - Sound - Ear - Buds
To the contrary, most of these pastors are actually working on their sermons. The sound coming through the ear buds may be music or simply white noise. They are attempting to drown out the noisy distractions around them.
Is the coffee shop the most common place for pastors’ sermon preparations? In the now famous words of Rainer and Jonathan Howe, “It depends.” This past week, I asked pastors on social media for their feedback. Let’s look at seven insights into where pastors said they actually do their sermon preparation.
Location - Survey - Personality - Types - Pastors
1. The location is largely personality-driven. In our survey, two different personality types emerged among the pastors’ location preference. One group cannot work effectively unless people are around. They are actually distracted by inactivity. The other group of pastors expressed the opposite sentiment. They have to be in a place with no audible or people distractions. They want to be alone. Though I don’t know for certain, I suspect this factor may be related to extraversion or introversion. As an introvert, I definitely prefer to work in solitude.
2. The church office is the least favorite location for sermon preparation. Pastors have learned that being in the church office means you are available at a whim to church members. Many pastors share stories of how, in the eyes of some church members, preparing a sermon in your office...
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