Minisry Tool Box: Time Management and Evaluations (Prophet, Priest, King)

Ministry Tool Box:   Time Management and Evaluations

Prophet, Priest and King Model

 I invested almost a quarter century serving the church modeling my life as a pastor based on Calvin’s three offices of Christ, Prophet, Priest and King.  I not only used this as a time-management tool, but also a way centering my life and activities on those things of first importance – serving the church with “Energy, Intelligence, Imagination and Love[1].


 Morphing from this “Prophet, Priest and King” model, I have defined and organized my work based on these categories:

 1.  Prophet–Preaching/Teaching:  This is the professional hat I wear as a “Teaching Elder” or “Minister of Word and Sacrament”.  This is time invested in bible study, research, sermon preparation and actual preaching/teaching.  This also involves spending time in prayer in asking what God is calling me to teach/preach.  In the broadest terms, this is time invested outside the pulpit with members of the congregation in study and worship; retreats and teaching confirmation classes and in leading conferences.  This prophetic hat is also worn in opening church meetings with devotions and prayer.  

 2.  Priest–Pastoral Work:  fter working through the ‘hierarchical” implications that come to mind in the use of this term, I view the priestly function as time invested as a pastor in talking with others on the phone, pastoral visits, staff meetings, hospital calls, weddings and funerals and counseling with congregants.  I wear this hat in the larger community by serving on committees and boards.  For me this role of “Priest” is in mutually sharing God’s love connectionally and relationally.  Caution:  This is never placing myself above others as a leader.  For me this is walking hand-in-hand in sharing God’s love with others.

 3.  King—Administrative Work of a leader:  While this term may be obsolete in a contemporary context in ministry, I see within this term the need to be a leader, a head of staff, a session moderator, an officer of the church.  I have to work with church leaders in decision-making processes.  The King in the Presbyterian tradition does not rule from above but in collaboration with those elected by the congregation and ordained to serve the flock.  Being the “King” in modern terms encompasses all that is involved in being Moderator of the session and Head of staff. 

                                                     A TIME MANAGEMENT TOOL

       These are not rigid hours and blocks of time.  I use this worksheet in order to maintain “balance” between various pastoral functions.




Ministry Functions


Units:  ½ day blocks



Worship, Preaching, Teaching, Study, Prayer  


5-6 blocks of time (2-4 hours per block)



Pastoral Care, calls, visits, weddings and funerals

12-16 hours

3-4 blocks of time



Administration, office work, Meetings

12-16 hours

3-4 blocks of time






 These are not rigid hours or blocks of time.  I use this worksheet in order maintain “balance” between various functions.  Fitting these hours or units into a five day work-week has always been a challenge. 


 Self Evaluation:  For a period of four to six weeks I would keep track of my actual hours (blocks of time) to see how I was doing.   I could then make adjustments in my weekly priorities as to how I would invest my time.

  1. Officer Evaluation of my Performance:  I would ask church officers and team leaders to rate my performance in each  of the above areas using this scale:


5 = Far Exceeds Expectations

4 = Exceeds Expectations

3 = Meets Expectations

2 = Needs Improvement

1 = Does not meet Expectations


 1.  From the Westminster Shorter Catechism: 

Q. 23: What offices doth Christ execute as our Redeemer?

Christ, as our Redeemer, executeth the offices of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king, both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation.

Q. 24: How doth Christ execute the office of a prophet?

Christ executeth the office of a prophet, in revealing to us, by his word and Spirit, the will of God for our salvation.

Q. 25: How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?

Christ executeth the office of a priest, in his once offering up of himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice, and reconcile us to God, and in making continual intercession for us.

Q.26: How doth Christ execute the office of a king?

Christ executeth the office of a king, in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.

  2.  The Heidelberg Catechism interprets the title “Christ” in terms of the threefold office, in Lord’s Day 12, Question and Answer 31:

Q. Why is he called “Christ,” meaning “anointed”?

A. Because he has been ordained by God the Father

and has been anointed with the Holy Spirit to be

our chief prophet and teacher

who perfectly reveals to us

the secret counsel and will of God for our deliverance;

our only high priest

who has set us free by the one sacrifice of his body,

and who continually pleads our cause with the Father;

and our eternal king

who governs us by his Word and Spirit,

and who guards us and keeps us

in the freedom he has won for us.


All this being said in recording the way I would manage my time as a pastor while actively serving a church, I now must figure out how to manage my time in retirement!  I am sure to be writing more on this subject.

[1]  Constitutional Questions, Book of Order, Directory for Worship, W-4.4003