Most pastors feel overworked. And if we are not careful, we can work so hard that we do not have time for our most important task: prayer and the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4). We don’t have time to study. We must make time to study. Here are seven pieces of practical advice for maximizing your study time (plus one bonus point).
Plan ahead: Your study time needs to be spent studying the text, not finding a text to study. So plan your preaching in advance. Planning ahead for a month or quarter or even a year will help you get down to business when it is time to prepare a message. The goal is to have a schedule that will enable you to make the most of your time in study.
Schedule study time: Your time of study is just as important as staff meetings, counseling sessions, and hospital visits. So begin each week by marking out the hours you will study each day. Determine how long it takes to prepare a message. Schedule it into your week. Then keep your appointments to study and write. Have the courage to tell people that you have something scheduled that you cannot cancel.
Steal time: There will be weeks when your schedule is out of control. Stealing time is a good way to make up for the time you may lose to other things. I copy down the resources that I need from week to week and put them in a file. I take it wherever I go, and I steal back as much time as I can while I am waiting for an appointment, between meetings, or any other time I can take advantage of.
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SOURCE: Leadership Journal
H.B. Charles, Jr.