Sunday, November 3, 2013

What Does Your Pastor Do Post-Sermon on a Sunday?

Church is over. The singing has ended, the happy greetings have begun (or been escaped). You have just sat through 40-minutes worth of one spiritual leader telling you about God revealed through Jesus Christ. This was consummation of a week of study. Yes, he does other things like visit sick people and counsel marriages, but in this one hour he is given the opportunity to proclaim the message God has for his people. So, you wonder, what does he do now?

First your pastor prays. Sometimes before he even gets off the stage. He prays to the God whom he just spoke on behalf of, and he asks God to forgive him for the ways in which he failed. He asks God to help the congregation to forget that statement that was a little too close to the line of heresy or of ill-humor. Then he asks God to continue working the truth of the passage into your heart and to flow into your actions. Your pastor prays, and primarily for you.

Second your pastor breathes. Deep in and deep out. Some might call it a sigh. Some might think it means he didn’t want to be here or preach, but this breath rather is one of resignation to the will of God: Huff-sigh, “I’ve done my task, and I trust you to fulfill your word.”

Third your pastor smiles and looks around at the people. The first grateful person makes their way to him and thanks him. He nods and is grateful. He looks around at everyone else and wonders if there’s anyone he should talk to. Specifically, but they all seem to be enjoying their conversation partners. He talks briefly with some people; he is glad for the church community, but he feels no need to participate in it at this time.

Fourth your pastor leaves. Usually the last one to go, he is probably glad to be in a quiet car—unless he has little children who are chattering and laughing, then he is glad to be with his family.

Fifth your pastor eats lunch. It may be with his family; it may be with someone who invited him to lunch; but your pastor eats.

Sixth your pastor naps. He is tired from the service, most likely. He is glad to finally hit the bed and sleep.

Seventh… if there is an evening service, your pastor prepares. This isn’t to say he didn’t prepare earlier in the week, but most of his time has been devoted to preparing the message for the morning. He uses some time to refocus his mind and prepare for the evening service. If this is the case, the eighth step would be to teach at the evening service, and if not then the other “seventh” or here,

Eighth he relaxes. Whatever that means for your pastor—for some it means talking with family or friends. For some it means watching television. For some it means reading a book with a cup of coffee. Your pastor relaxes, enjoying God and his good gifts; trusting God that things are progressing right along God’s eternal purposes.

Ninth your pastor sleeps, and gets ready for Monday. The hardest and easiest day of his week is over—it’s the day that requires the most, but is likely the most joyful. He concludes it, and prepares for the week ahead.

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