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Practical Help, part 4 – my Thursdays

Thursday … for me … a relief. Not because I hate my job…I certainly don’t. Not because I want to get away from my job…I don’t (I sometimes feel the need to be at work on Thursdays because of the amount of work to be done)…but Thursday is a relief for me because it is my day off.

I will admit that there is a little guilt for this particular day off. I had a seminary professor that told us to never take Thursdays as our day off. We ask people to give their Wednesday evenings to us, the church, and service to God. Most, if any, of them don’t get Thursday off. If we, as music ministers take Thursday off, we send a bad message.

I really used to believe that…and part of me still believes part of it. However, with multiple staff at my church we have to choose our day off based on everyone else’s schedule. When I first came on staff, the Sr. Pastor and Education Pastor both had Fridays off which meant me and the Youth Pastor had Thursdays off so we could be in the office on Fridays. So, not really a choice there. When the Education Pastor left, in the interim, I tried to take Fridays off, coming in to the office on Thurdays. Wednesdays are so taxing mentally and physically (see previous post), it made me a zombie on Thursdays at work. I couldn’t get much of anything done.

So, Thursdays are days of rest, refreshment, and renewal. I used to not plan anything for Thursdays. I looked forward to the days when my wife was out of the home on assignment (her job lets her be home some days and not others)…those days were completely quiet. I could sleep late. I could eat junk food. I could go out to fast food for lunch. I could play XBOX all day (which can often be a quite satisfactory stress reliever). Now, with the birth of our daughter in December, I want nothing more than to spend my day off with my wife and her. That’s my stress relief.

Yesterday, we went to Athens. I will admit, part of it was work related. I needed to get some song books spiral bound at Kinko’s. By the way, if you’re a music minister, this is a great inexpensive tool…take your song book, along with your accompanists, and get them spiral bound at Kinko’s. It is only about 5 bucks per book. You know how the books don’t lay flat on your stand and you can’t see part of the page without holding it down…especially when the book is brand new before getting “broke in”? It’s even worse for your accompanist…you have gravity helping you with your book staying “somewhat” opened…their books are a beast to try and play, turn pages, keep it open, etc. By using this service of Kinko’s, the books are so much more manageable. Trust me, you will want to do this for every song book you own.

Anyway, that was part of the reason for going to Athens. We enjoyed the day out of the house with our daughter…though we’re still getting used to that whole thing. She’s only four weeks old today, so almost everything is still new.

My encouragement to you is to take seriously your day off. It is so important for us as leaders to be rested and relaxed. It helps us as we relate to people, as we try to dream for down-the-road possibilities, when we must sit down and plan those around-the-corner events and services…being rested is a huge advantage in this job. Don’t miss the opportunity to do so. Also, don’t forget that your family is your first priority. Use those times away from your job as family time. A friend of mine calls those days “Family Fun Days”…what can you do with your family in those times?

Tomorrow, I will post on my normal Fridays. It is sort of a “hodge-podge” day for me…but I plan it that way.

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