I recently read an article about pastors and how hard their job is. I wanted to share some excerpts from it here.
How Hard Is It?
“Here’s the full list of the four hardest jobs in America, from a piece by Philip Wagner at ChurchLeaders.com. This is the post most others have grabbed this quote from. Peter Drucker, the late leadership guru, said that the four hardest jobs in America (and not necessarily in order, he added) are:
- The President of the United States
- A university president
- A CEO of a hospital
- A pastor
In most articles I’ve read on this, the author usually goes on to cite further stats about the abysmal dropout and burnout rates among pastors, and understandably so.
Maybe it’s just me, but in too many of the articles I’ve read on this, there seems to be an underlying masochistic pleasure that pastors take in it. At times, it feels as if we’re saying, “See! I told you! My job is hard! This is why I’m burned out, stressed and overworked. Now, you may pity me.”
Pastoring a church is certainly hard work. And Drucker’s assessment may be right. But it shouldn’t be right.”
Vaters gives 4 ways to make this job of pastoring much less of a burden.
1. Stop being a Martyr
Sometimes we get the idea that we have to do it all, and take great pleasure and pride in letting others know just “how much” is demanded of us.
2. Start making disciples
I know. Sometimes doing the job ourselves is simply easier and we quite often CAN do it better and faster. But the problem is that doing so doesn’t allow disciples to stretch themselves (see last post October 22, 2013) or give them opportunity to build up their spiritual strength.
We actually creating a self-defeating cycle in which not one is raised up to help in ministry and we pastors get buried even deeper.
3. Stop obsessing over growth or the lack thereof
Pastors need to build a community that is healthy — then what growth that comes will be organic and natural. Give God the control over what growth is to take place.
“If pastoring really is as hard as Drucker says, let’s be grateful to God for a healthy church, without adding the unrealistic burden of continual growth as a completely unnecessary brick to our load.”
4. Listen to your own advice
We are quick with the advice and texts about taking a Sabbath rest — but do we heed those words ourselves?
“How many sermons have we preached on “my yoke is easy and my burden is light,” only to walk out of church with the weight of the world on our own shoulders?
How many times have we taught our church about the value of sabbath while working 24/7 ourselves?
How many times have we told people to put their family first, but have put off our own family evenings for church work?”
Those of you who aren’t Pastors — can you help your Pastor work on these things? Can help make the job easier?