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A workable way to answer the question What did you do this week?

"Can I ask what you do from one week to the next?" asked Janet, an involved member of our congregation who had just joined the church's personnel committee. Her comment wasn't a "ministers only work one hour a week" jab. She honestly didn't know what I did with my time.

Then Steve, a nonchurched friend, asked me as we were eating lunch one day, "How's your week going? What have you been doing?"

"Well, I've . . ." I then realized that, even though it felt like I'd been busy for weeks, I wasn't really sure what I'd accomplished. I remembered the Laver funeral, the late-night call to the hospital, the session with Susan and Tom, that sermon that seemed to elude me for so long. But is that all I'd done during all those hours?

And then the clincher.

"I just read this article on budgeting," our treasurer enthused. "It says that the largest single item in our budget is your salary. If we're going to know how much each area of our ministry is costing us, we need to know how much time you're spending ...

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