“Pastors only work on Sundays don’t they?”. That was the question I was asked today for about the one thousandth time. Pastors get asked this ALL THE TIME be it “in jest” or a genuine question. Today it was the latter.
I never really get upset over this question unless it is “in jest” which means it was meant as sarcasm and we all know that there is always a bit of truth in sarcasm. I kindly told this person that is not always the case. In fact it is NEVER the case.
As a pastor of a smaller church, I maintain a strict daily schedule which I keep posted on the bulletin board in my office. Smaller church means the pastor wears more hats. I will admit that outside of Sunday mornings; Tuesday is my favorite day. You will see why. Here is what my schedule looks like…
- Record 7 days of My Utmost For His Highest
- Data entry
- Sermon rough draft
- Tech Day
- Online Church Update
- Radio Show
- Post Podcasts
- Breakfast Huddle
- Royal Rangers
- Sermon Prep
- Pastoral Care
- Setup Church Computer for Sunday
- Post songs
Looking at that schedule it can seem light to some but many steps are involved. Like recording My Utmost For His Highest. I love doing this but each recording needs to be edited down. I do not just record and post. The same applies to the radio broadcast, etc. Weekly online church updates involves a lot of coding each week. The embedded live service, messages, etc. don't automatically post each week. Royal Rangers is a solid 4 hour investment of my time which includes the meeting itself. Building maintenance is an ongoing thing that can be sprinkled into the week at any given moment.
One of the items on the list is pastoral care. Now Thursdays are my day to specifically reach out to individuals I have in mind. I am available for people to reach out to me anytime. For instance, this afternoon I went to sit down in my office and instantly I am talking with a manic depressive person using illegal substances so that they can relax. I was then notified of a friend of the church involved in a drunk driving accident. This was followed up by a person battling severe depression. I say all of that to mention I don’t mind this one bit but by time I was done “counseling”, it was evening and I had not gotten to the things I needed to get done. This means everything gets bumped to the next day since I do like to hang out with my family.
For the record, I put the word counseling in quotes because people often mistake pastors for licensed counselors and we are not. There are a handful that are but as a general rule; pastors can provide wise counsel but we are not licensed.
So…do pastors just work on Sundays? Not at all. In fact that is the easy day! The icing on the cake if you will because we get to deliver the message and hang out with awesome church folks. I am so thankful for the ones that help keep the church afloat by volunteering, etc. As I stated in a previous blog there will always be those who suggest things trying to put more on a pastors plate as well. At some point a pastor has to say no or...if your not willing to run with it then it simply will not get done.