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This is How I Work

One of my favorite features over at is “This is How I Work.” I thought it might be fun to use their format and do a post on how I work (from the perspective of a solo pastor).

Current gig: Pastor, Cornerstone Presbyterian Church

Current computer: MacBook Air, 2018

Current mobile devices: Huawei Mate SE, iPad Pro 10.5"

One word that best describes how you work: Plodding along (hopefully in a good way!)

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

I write out my sermon notes by hand using a fountain pen. Its crucial to my process. I scan commentary readings into my iPad so that I can mark them up and have everything in the same place to refer back to them when I write the sermon. I preach and record my sermons from my iPad. Being able to display my laptop on my iPad has proved more helpful than I realized. I've used Airmail for e-mail for several years now. I recently have begun to use Slack for communication on various projects in the church.

What’s your workspace like?

I mainly work from my standing desk. It has been great for my back, and I seem to concentrate better. I also use a Topo Comfort Mat. My feet are extremely thankful for it. Like most pastors, I’m surrounded by books. I love being able to grab a book when I need it! I have various pieces of artwork around my study that hold special meaning for me. I also have pictures of my family (they need to be updated!).

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?

Every year I take time in the fall to plan out all of my preaching for the next year. That has been a huge timesaver for me. I use a Bullet Journal for tasks and notes. There is something about the analog nature of it that works well for me. Having tried seveal different systems over the years, this is the one I've landed on and I love it. I will also set reminders for things using Alexa or Google Assistant.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?

It isn’t very high-tech, I suppose, but it would have to be the copy machine. I wish someone would invent one than just worked without the need for so much maintenance! My iPad has surprisingly become rather indispensable for me as well.

What are you currently reading?

I just finished Faithful and Fruitful edited by William Boekestein and Steven Swets. We working through it currently for officer training at Cornerstone. Right now I’m reading Van Til's Apologetic by Greg L. Bahnsen, and On Reading Well by Karen Swallow Prior.

What do you listen to while you work?

I listen to various classical playlists on Amazon Music, or sometimes jazz. When I’m doing something more mindless, I listen to Mars Hill Audio, Reformed Forum, and more recently Sinclair Ferguson the Westminster Confession of Faith at The Gospel Coalition.

Are you more of an extrovert or introvert?

People are often surprised by this, but I’m actually an extrovert. I’m not really the life of the party guy. But I do process things externally, and being around people energizes me. Like all extroverts, though, I also need my alone time now and then.

What’s your sleep routine like?

Ideally I need to be unplugged from computer and phone by 8:00pm. I find it helpful to read right before bed. My goal is to start to get ready for bed around 9:30 and to be asleep by 10:30 or 10:45. But I’m a chronic night owl, so I often have a hard time getting to sleep on time.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

Your greatest strengths can easily become your biggest weaknesses.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Don’t write off churches that have a more historic approach to worship. You might just find there’s more there, and it’s much richer, than you might have imagined!

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