Every time I post on this blog, I have to place my entry in a particular category – paperwork, pastoral, pending, personal, practical and preaching (I like things beginning with P!) Well, I’ve just finished putting together the pattern of services for October and November – so where do you think I should enter it? The most obvious answer is paperwork, and there’s no denying I have generated yet another document for my files.
But I’m also going to categorise it under “people” and “pastoral” because the way the services are arranged has a direct impact on the life of both churches. First of all, I have to take into special occasions like baptisms and Remembrance Sunday and decide what is the most important form of service. I have to take account of holidays such as half term and check there is enough cover. I have to make sure that every service leader and preacher has a fair opportunity to exercise their gifts in the right context – some are more suited for an All-Age Worship, others for a Holy Communion, for example. And above all, I try and pray that each service will fit into the four aims of our churches:
Focus on Jesus
Fellowship with each other
Faithful living in the world
Foundations in the Bible
Not that producing the pattern of services is the end result. Someone at each church then has to produce detailed rotas and make sure each part of the service is covered. Again this is all about people and making sure the right people are in place at the right time.
And behind all this paperwork is the preaching programme which is the foundation and the bedrock on which the whole ministry of the church rests. More about how I put that together another time.