Pastors, your life is different.
I used to fight for the normal life. One of my mentors told me that as long as I strive for normal, I’ll fail. He encouraged me to embrace the differences of ministry and learn to flourish within those differences. (Living the balanced life will likely be impossible.)
Pastor, here are just a few ways your life is different:
- You prepare new messages every week for the same crowd. (I can’t think of any other profession who does this without the help of curriculum or speech writers.)
- You do what many managers or business owners do. (The short list includes: maintaining the building, building new facilities, hiring, training and firing staff, overseeing the budget, raising money, recruiting and leading volunteers, etc.)
- You shepherd the flock. You might counsel someone who is suicidal, meet with a couple who is about to divorce, do a funeral and a wedding before your preach on the weekend.
- You are rarely “off duty.” Like the doctor who might be on call one weekend a month, you are almost always “on call.”
- Though your hours are flexible, they are generally long and unusual. You work many nights, weekends and most holidays.
- You have the pressure of life in the “fish bowl.”
- Your role creates many social obligations.
- No matter how much you do, your ministry is never “finished.”
Some resent the differences. Some embrace them. I choose to embrace the differences and strive to follow Christ as my model instead of the culture’s cry for balanced living.
Which of these differences affect you? What differences have I not mentioned that are important to you?