1st March 2018
A few weeks ago I wrote about how making one small change – starting to walk 10,000 steps each day – has brought great benefits, not just to my physical health, but also to my spiritual and emotional health.
This week I thought I’d tell you about another recent change I have made to my weekly rhythm: since the beginning of the year I have moved my day off from Monday to Friday. Now, I realise this will come as shock to many of you who have been around Newfrontiers for a long time! For as long as I can remember, Monday has been the standard day off for pastors in our family of churches. You could almost view it as a core value: grace, church, word, spirit – and Monday off! And until recently, I had followed that model unquestioningly. It was helpful to have a day off to rest after Sunday, the busiest day of the week. And as most other pastors and church leaders I knew were also off that day, it made sense that I was too.
But in the last few years, having Monday off has gradually worked less well for me. As King’s grew and its leadership demands became increasingly complex, I found I was having to spend at least some time every Monday ensuring I was well prepared for all the meetings which take place on Tuesdays, many of which I would be leading. This did not always go down too well with Deb, my wife! And I must confess that if we went out for lunch on Monday, I was sometimes distracted as I checked emails and messages. I also found that being in the office on Friday was not always a productive time, since many of the other staff I might need to see were busy preparing for Sunday. Then last year we began recording each Sunday’s preach on the Thursday before. This meant that with the mix of live preaching and video that we operate at King’s, every service could hear the same preach on the same week. Until then we had run some meetings a week behind. Having to be ready to preach by Thursday rather than Sunday put more pressure on the beginning of the week.
So I decided to try moving my day off to Friday. Having run with this for three to four months now, I thought I’d let you know what I’ve found:
1. Your diary needs time to adjust. I tend to plan a long way ahead and, inevitably, I had several commitments booked for Fridays which it wasn’t possible to move. So for the first six weeks or so, I needed to be flexible with my day off.
2. I needed time to adjust. At first, working Monday and being off on Friday felt very strange. After all, I had been having Mondays off for over two decades!
3. My week has become far more productive. I can get far more done on a Monday than I ever could on a Friday.
4. I am far better prepared for the coming week – and less stressed as a result.
5. I am benefitting hugely from what has become a real ‘weekend’ experience. Having two days off together, Friday followed by Saturday (although I do work occasional Saturdays) means that I am more relaxed and rested by the time Sunday and the new week comes around than I ever was before.
6. My wife loves it! Deb has also rearranged her week to free up Fridays and she is appreciating having a husband who is less distracted by what may be coming up in the week ahead. We have had more days out together and overall it has been great for our marriage.
So I am converted. If you are in full-time Christian ministry, I encourage you to review your day off and make sure that your chosen day is still working for you.
And oh yes, for any of you wondering, I am still doing 10,000 steps a day. Only 66 days more and I will have completed a whole year!
Posted by Steve Tibbert
Steve Tibbert leads King’s Church London, with sites in Catford, Downham and Lee. Over the past fifteen years the church has seen continued growth, both in size and diversity. Steve is also involved in Newfrontiers and regularly coaches other lead elders. His book, Good to Grow, was published in July 2011. He is married to Deb, and they have three sons.