Ministers have very different routines when it comes to the time before a service on a Sunday. Here's mine. I’m usually at the Church two hours before a service begins. I begin with a walk through the empty Church, the morning sun shining through the windows. That way I sometimes pick up special cues, or a special mood. Then I sit down with my notes. Later, when the Church is filling up, I walk a few times up and down the aisles, and greet people -- and sometimes people “pull me over” with a special request or reminder. Typically I meet with elders and deacons for a briefing and prayer before it's finally time. OBSERVATION: Some ministers prefer to be totally focused on the service to come, and exclude anything that might disturb them. I like to be visible and accessible, and I love to greet people. One prerequisite of my approach, though, is that one should expect some surprises. One should be inwardly ready.