“Must be nice to only work 3 hours a week!”
“What do you really do all day?”
“Oh you are a part-time pastor!”
With these statements and many more like them we reveal how difficult we feel that of being a pastor really is. After all we really only see them “at work” on Sunday’s and perhaps on Wednesdays, for an hour or two at a time; what do they do the rest of the week? Read the Bible? Play Golf? Fish? Sleep in? Who knows, while we are clocking in and out and putting in 40+ hours a week at our job, what is our pastor doing? So we kid with them about what they do all day, prehaps only as a joke or as a coverup when we really want to know.
As the son of a pastor, and someone who has been in ministry or close to those in ministry most of my life, can I beg you to pray constantly for your pastors, elders and deacons the Lord has placed as overseers and shepherds in your life. Theres a weight involved in being a pastor that is heavy and the burden for those people in their church that is unbearable at times. Your pastor isn’t a super-Christian that doesn’t face life’s difficulties, stresses, temptations and hurts. Your pastor needs wisdom, discernment, endurance and strength that can only come from the Lord if they are ever going to accomplish that which the Lord has called them too.
Some things to remember when wondering what your pastor does all day:
- Thanks to the advance/curse of technology they are on call and reachable 24/7 – there is no “part-time” ministry
- Rarely when someone says “Hey pastor can we talk” is it good news or to thank them
- Pastors constantly step into the worse of life’s circumstances that are affecting the people of their congregation
- They are not only trying to faithfully lead their families, but also a whole congregation of people
- Bearing the weight of James 3:1
- When they aren’t meeting with someone they are thinking of their next counseling session
- The weight of reading, studying and preparing to teach the Word of God
A lot of this post comes from reading the following last night:
“From a variety of sources, ranging from the Fuller Institute to the Barna Research Group and Pastoral Care, Inc., we find these sobering numbers:
- 90 percent of pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week
- 80 percent believe pastoral ministry has negatively affected their families
- 90 percent feel they are inadequately trained to cope with the ministry demands
- 80 percent of pastors feel unqualified and discouraged
- 90 percent of pastors say the ministry is completely different than what they thought it would be like before they entered the ministry
- 50 percent feel unable to meet the demands of the job
- 70 percent of pastors constantly fight depression
- 70 percent say they have a lower self-image now than when they first started
- 70 percent do not have someone they consider a close friend
- 40 percent report serious conflict with a parishioner at least once a month
- 33 percent confess having engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior with someone in the church
- 50 percent of pastors feel so discouraged that they would leave the ministry if they could, but have no other way of making a living
- 70 percent of pastors feel grossly underpaid
- 50 percent of the ministers starting out will not last 5 years
- Only 1 out of every 10 ministers will actually retire as a minister in some form”
~ From Jared Wilson in The Pastor’s Justification
I share these stats as a means to show the stresses and thoughts some of our pastors face. And to ask us to constantly hold our pastors and staffs up before the Lord in prayer, asking the Lord to sustain them, encourage them and help them be faithful to their calling, that can only be completed by the Grace of God.
Your pastor loves you and is constantly thinking of you and the congregation, lets not neglect to lift them up in prayer as they faithfully lead us.