Ready for Christmas?

Leave a comment

07/11/2012 by Chris Green

2015 Calendar
The world is just waking up to Christmas and grumbling about receiving the first card, but you’ve been living it for months.  When did you start focussing on it?  June, probably, before the schools broke up and you could get the muso’s together.

Planning well  ahead is one of the secrets to feeling that you’re not out of control in your life and ministry, so it’s worth identifying now two golden, secret periods.  I guard these jealously.

1 Just after Christmas and into the new year. This is especially true if you’re an assistant minister who probably works that first week anyway as your boss is away.

Here’s the secret. No one wants to see you.  Funeral directors try to avoid funerals round then. Hospitals postpone operations. People travel to see their families.  Even keen Christians have had their fill of you.

So what do you do if you’re working then?  Get a great roll of black bin liners and go through every file in your filing cabinet to chuck out everything you don’t need.  Every single one.  For all that you’ve tried to go paper free it’s still in there, clogging up your system (Panicky? Obsessive?  Then register with Evernote, scan everything, and then chuck it). And loose bits of paper all over your study will make you inefficient. I know. I’m preaching to myself here.

Use that week to get on top of the piling system.

2.  This one takes more planning, but put in the diary two or three days in June, before the holidays start, when you can start to think and pray over the next calendar year (yup, looking 18 months ahead). Arrange now that you won’t preach, or speak at anything in the Sunday following so that you can have a clear head.

Take a decent diary (paper or electronic), Bible, loads of writing materials (ditto) and try to be a responsible steward and pastor.  Thinking through the preaching, training, evangelism needs of the church, and work out how you’ll fit them in. Bible overview, doctrine classes – put them in first and let the small stuff settle round them.

If you’re in a team go with others, but in my experience this takes a lot of solo thought and prayer.

Don’t blow money on it- at that time of year you can take a comfortable chair into a nearby park and no-one will bat an eyelid.

But you’ll need to put in in now, before you get asked to lead that Wednesday meeting.

And leave your mobile at home.


For January:

What’s best next? by Matt Perman. The best book on stewarding your time and energy as a Christian.
Getting Things Done, by David Allen. He may be a secular Buddhist, but if he can get me organised he can do it for anyone

For June:  whichever book on church jazzes you up and challenges you at the moment. Even better, re-read it before you go to get the juices flowing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Shortlisted for “Most Inspiring Leadership Blog, 2018”

New resource

Pastors are busy, and leading a church is a demanding task.  That’s why I wrote this e-bookchecklist: The Pastor’s Checkup – The Top 10 Questions every pastor needs to answer (and helpful stuff if you can’t)

There’s only way to get it is by subscribing to my  (occasional) email newsletter here.


God, Suffering and Joy

A conversation between me (with cancer) and Michael (with Multiple Sclerosis)

Legal stuff

This blog does not share personal information with third parties nor do I store any information about your visit to this blog other than to analyse and optimise your content and reading experience. I am not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without my permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice.

I welcome your participation on the Ministrynutsandbolts site, and invite you to share ideas elsewhere on what you learn and read here. At the same time, I ask that you respect my intellectual property rights in the process.

You are welcome to link to my site or any specific post on my site, extract and re-post less than 200 words on any other site, provided you link back to my original post, or print my posts in any non-commercial publication (e.g., company newsletter, class syllabus, church newsletter, etc.), provided you include this copyright notice: “© 2017 Chris Green. All rights reserved. Originally published at”

Please do not do the following without written consent: Re-post one of my posts in its entirety anywhere else on the Internet, use this content for commercial purposes, including selling or licensing printed or digital versions of my content, or alter, transform, or build upon this work.

If you have some use for my content that is not covered here, please contact me. If you would like me to do a guest post on your blog, email me at

Copyright does not apply to the titles of books, but transparency means I should own that the title of the blog is taken from the excellent ‘Ministry Nuts and Bolts: What They Don’t Teach Pastors in Seminary ‘ by Aubrey Malphurs (Kregel: 2nd edn. 2009)

© 2018 Chris Green

%d bloggers like this: