Friday, August 7, 2009

Wow, I didn't realize that the guest post would be up over at Stuff Christians Like. I have been a real slouch about getting my regular posts going here for the summer. Actually that is a great tie in for what I wrote over at SCL.

Basically a lot of people think that being a pastor is a one or two day job. Not even full days when you think about it either. People that know me wouldn't dare ask "so what do you do when it isn't Sunday or Wednesday?" Well they wouldn't ask that with the idea that I don't have a million things n my plate. I do get the question quite a bit though so here is a very brief list of the things I do.

  • Prepare Sermons
  • Preach Sermons
  • Maintain Sermon Audio collection including editing the audio and duplicating CDs
  • Meet with and counsel teens
  • Work with UNITEsmc a coalition of Youth ministries
  • Supervise the youth outreach team
  • Supervise the Youth worship band
  • Work with Community Family Life Ministries to start the Family Life Center
  • Various graphic projects for the church
  • Various maintenance projects for the church
  • What feels like a million meetings

I'm serious, I feel like I have a million meetings. I hate them but they keep getting put on my agenda.

Anyways, the truth is that I put in 50-60 hours if I am being good. What I mean is that I can easily put in way more, but I try not to because I am trying not to burn out. In the summer it is much more intense because students are out of school. I meet with them much more often and have to do more events and such. If I'm not careful my wife starts getting mad because I'm doing closer to 70 hours and still taking work home with me.

All the pastors I know are crazy busy and despite m constant prayers on this we haven't been given a secret pastor's only day of the week. There are things that can help though.

From the pastor's end I just want to say the biggest thing I can do is get more organized. I am planning my year out in advanced. That helped a lot over last year where things kept creeping up on me. I also like to use Monday morning to clean my office and plan my week. When I have meetings crop up Monday morning my week is crap after that because I didn't clean my office and plan my week. By the afternoon there is just too much going on and it starts feeling out of control. I know I need to stop and organize but that is much harder when I'm in the middle of it. Finally it is so important that I delegate. I learned that I tend to see a problem and then assume the responsibility for that and try to fix it. More and more things kept getting added to my plate until it was much too full. When I ask someone to take care of it then I can know it is getting done and that I can finish other things that need doing.

From the "not a pastor end" there are so many great things you can do. First understand that just because you are not a pastor does not mean you are not a minister. You do the work of the church regardless of title. After that, pray for your pastor often. Pray that they would get everything done, that they would be organized, that they will feel refreshed, and that they will share the burden. It is so easy for us to want to keep the burden because we want to make sure it is all done, but you can only keep so many plates spinning before it all comes crashing down. Finally, step up and help out. You are a minister so get to it.


Shark Bait said...

There is always a problem I think when there is no clear line between your job and your ministry. You can never actually leave the "office" because your office is wherever and whenever you are needed.

At least I can claim a break from my ministry for work pressures; you don't even get that "out"

Joe said...

Hey, just making sure...

You are squeezing all of that into 6 days and nothing on the 7th day.

Lexi said...

I read your guest post on SCL and thought I would jump over here for a read. Thanks for giving me the push that I need to e-mail my (amazing) pastors and let them know how much they are appreciated.

Nick the Geek said...

I think that happens in a lot of professions. I know teachers like this and I know tech guys like this. It is one problem with doing stuff you love.

Um, as far as you and my pastor's wife know I always take one day off. In reality I "occasionally" end up working for a couple weeks straight, but mostly I really do make time off a priority and family time and couple time. Those are separate things btw.

Thanks for sending your pastors an encouraging email. In my experience many if not most pastors get regular hate mail so they need even more regular love mail. You should make a point to send a love email (um opposite of hate not anything romantic, I'm sure you get that right?) to your pastors every week. They will be more amazing (frigintastic) for it.

Zach said...

I loved both your post here and on SCL. It's funny, I've had the conversation with my wife three or four times in the last couple of years of full time ministry. I'll have done something mildly awesome and she'll ask when did you do that. And I inevitably ask, "What do you think I do all week?" and all summer I get the garbage about being out of the office, I think it's because people secretly wish they could spend time pouring their lives into teenagers and calling it "work" while going on crazy roller coasters at 6 Flags. But I digress. Thanks man.

Nick the Geek said...

That is one of the reasons we put up with so much, because it is amazing to work with young people. One of the best weekends I've had in ages was a 3 day trip of roller coasters and Christian music.

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