Just been a while, I mean quite a while, since Ive blogged, so here it is.
Today, I was into church business, sermon preparation (kindof), taking and making phone calls, and .. stuff what stuff? Well, lets move on with addressing the question.
The title of the blog is, What do pastors do? Now, I can only write from my perspective on this. Honestly, Im not certain what all pastors do on a daily basis, but I do know some of the things they do, for certain. If they dont do certain things, they wont be pastoring very long, and if they do continue, it will end up a sorry situation, at best.
Pastors are family men. (well use the masculine gender, here, ok?) The successful family demands time, effort, money, attention, love, and just flat out, hangin out ya, like sitting on the couch doing nothing. Like talking extra time after dinner to talk about that whatever. Like listening to the child, teenager, or wife talk, complain, express, and communicate whatever is pressing at the present time. A retired, (well, kind of retired no, he never retired), well-respected, God fearing, elder minister used to visit our young family when we lived in Sault Ste. Marie, some years ago. His name was Rev. Ralph Reynolds. What a fantastic man he was! At an older age in his life he married a beautiful christian woman from Brockville, Ontario. Quite often, while travelling from Brockville to British Columbia, they stopped and preached at our church and stayed in our home. When we enjoyed lunch at our dinner table, Elder Reynolds would look at our young kids as they played and laughed, and sometimes cried, over whatever, and Ill not forget his words: I love families. I still remember his words that went something like this: Bro. Arbeau, you have a beautiful family. He liked to tell us about the difference between his children, and I liked to hear it. Now, Paul, he would say is like this David, on the other hand is more like Those were wonderful days that Ill probably never forget. There are pastors who pastor as a single man, or woman and they are to be admired, with great intensity. The pastor who pastors with the support and love of family is richly rewarded in so many ways.
Pastors are working men. The longstanding joke goes something like this: Hi, pastor, I see you are working today. What do you do the other six days of the week? It must be nice?! Ive been at the brunt of this like dig several times lots of times. When youre a young pastor is when this little snide, pre-packaged, possible death blow is most dangerous. As you mature and learn, you learn to roll with the punches and laugh at the hillariousness of the rib. The longer one pastors, the funnier the little dumb line becomes or at least its funny if you learn to make it funny. If the pastor can possibly refrain from shoveling something back that will cause embarrasment to the offender, that is. You just gotta zip it up sometimes, or a person could do some real damage. Pastors work with words and some of them are sharp as a whip with vocab Anyway, pastors are working men. Most are, anyway. Ive heard that the average pastor who pastors a growing church is in for between 60 and 80 hours per week. And this probably entails about 50 weeks out of the year.
Pastors work, and pastors work hard. The pastors job description may be simplified, but the requirements of a pastor are many. After family time, personal time in reading, keeping up a household, paying bills, and balancing life , were really just getting started, it seems.
It has been said that pastors are on call 24/7. Generally, this is a valid statement. When people need you, they need you. If somebody is suffering through divorce, an accident, imprisonment, depression, family problems, along with a myriad of other potential situations, and they call for you, you need to be available.
I learned, many years ago, that leaving sermon preparation to the last minute is very unwise. Many times, I have been called upon just before church, for a variety of reasons. If you wait till your last few hours to prepare for church, you potentially have no time at all to prepare because something very pressing, needed attention.
The really big challenge in pastoring is as somebody said, not simply doing things right, but doing the right things. What are the right things? Well, that depends on your call. What is/are your gifting(s)? Some pastors are dynamic administrators and are very adept at fulfilling the responsibilities associated with getting this part of the work done both in the local assembly and sometimes within a district. Others excel in the preaching/teaching ministry, again, both in the home church, and outside the home church. Some pastors are trainers of other men, usually younger than themselves, while others are given to extensive study and in-depth teaching of the Word of God. The list goes on an on. Probably, theres no right and wrong. The grim reality, if it may be termed as such, is that due to the structure of a lot of local church congregations, it becomes essential for most pastors to work a job outside the responsibilities that accompany that of the pastor. This reality among pastors has been debated for a long, long time. Most pastors believe that as soon as it becomes possible for a pastor to derive a full time salary from the church assembly, that this is best.
Pastors are gifts. Ephesians 4:11-12 states that (God) gave some apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teaches, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Perhaps the most important gift that a christian may ever receive is the pastor. The scripture further teaches us to obey them that have the rule over us the reason? They watch for our souls. A good, godly, caring, called of God pastor does just that. He prays often for the people who are in his trust. He respects them, loves them, shows kindness to them, and is there for them, virtually, whenever he is needed. He is there almost every week as spiritual leader, Bible teacher, encourager, prayer warrior, marriage counsellor, child and youth worker hes there when they are young and hes there when they are older. The true, God-called, pastor is Gods gift to the flock. And this requires a lot of time, faithfulness, and care.
So, what do pastors do? More than what this short blog details, but this is a snapshot, at least to give you a little insight.
Ill be writing again soon