Why You Need A Weekly “To Do List”

I am committed to helping pastors be better at their ministries. For this reason, I often write about pastoral leadership and how pastors can do their jobs even better. Time management really matters in ministry.

Today I want to write about having a weekly to do list.

I find that having to do list is helpful and having a weekly to do list is even more helpful. This is how I do my weekly to do list.

It’s as simple as I can make it. On Sunday night or sometimes Monday morning I take five sheets of paper and start working through what I have to do each day. Obviously, I have a Monday list and one for each day of the week.

I know very well what I have to accomplish every day. On Mondays I prepare for a Tuesday men’s breakfast I teach at First Baptist Church Covington. I also write my blog for Tuesday morning. I then structure every day according to what I need to do that day.

This includes getting ready for Sunday’s sermon. I try to have a certain aspect of the sermon prepared each day. This is what my weekly list does for me.

First, my weekly to do list helps me think strategically. It lets me see how to get things done for the entire week.

I need encouragement to plan ahead and my weekly list helps me do that.

Second, a weekly to do list keeps my mind at work on all of the things that I have to get accomplished. I find that I do better work if my mind is working and thinking about events before they become urgent.

Third, a weekly to do list lets me “sleep on” my decisions. I find that I make my best decisions and am most creative early in the morning. My weekly to do list gets my mind thinking and working to solve these issues.

Fourth, my weekly to do list helps me recognize the complexity of my week, but it helps me to do the work one day at a time. If you have many sermons to prepare or blogs to write it is easy to get overwhelmed. If you see all you have to do but recognize that you only have to do one at a time, it helps to “wrap your arms around your job.”

I assume a weekly to do list is helpful for most anybody and not just ministers.

Finally, a weekly to do list helps me because once the week gets started I don’t have time to plan. The time when I know what must be accomplished that week is before the week begins.

I encourage you to try this weekly to do list and see if you find it helpful as well.

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5 Comments


  1. Randy Rich
    Apr 06, 2016

    I have been using a weekly to do list for as long as I can remember. It probably started as a seed you planted at NOBTS. Great advice for all pastors!!


  2. Andrew
    Apr 06, 2016

    Thanks, Pastor. Time management and prioritizing is how I get the most done when looking at the work week and household chores.


  3. Alta
    Apr 06, 2016

    great advice!!! THANKS


  4. Eddy
    Apr 06, 2016

    Whew…!…
    I gotta take a break just reading this.
    However, it is a great piece with valuable info and suggestions. I often wondered how you arranged all that you do… Blessings


    • Waylon
      Apr 11, 2016

      You have a way of making me smile 🙂

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. — James 4:10 (NIV)