Something I have been fond of saying to church professional types for a while is
If you’re working more than 40 hours a week, you’re doing it wrong.
Here’s the truth: Jesus came to set us free and show us the way to Abundant Life. If we were to judge by the life of most pastors (who are ostensibly in the know about this sort of thing) then – I gotta be honest – the Christian life is not a life I want. Pastors are stressed out all the time. You’re telling me that sacrificing myself is going to lead to an Abundance of Stress? No thank you.
I wrote about this a bit in Open Source Church, but this video by Pam the Webivore says it better than I ever could:
I may have a different set of reasoning than Pam, but you can’t deny that she’s right.
What kind of a just & right example of a Christian lifestyle do pastors set when they work themselves to death? Is that chat Jesus wanted? That dude chilled out & had drinks with folks. Of course he was stressed out but I would bet kicking back in humanity helped keep that in check
Don’t have to be stressed out. Working diligently, creativity and constantly for the church is a great privilege. Church today requires rigor from its clergy. Now, there is grace that comes in the form of ebb and flow of what is required. But pastors and leaders, on Jesus and the apostolic church’s behalf, function as a heart muscle for the local congregation to keep the flow and ministry moving. Requires a life.
It reminds me of what the flight attendants tell us on airplanes: “For those of you flying wiht children, please first adjust your own mask, then assist your children.”
Love it, Shawn.
As long as I keep my Sabbath, I’m okay. Sabbath is non-negotiable. Learned that a couple of years ago, and it makes all the difference.
Yep. It’s gotta be non-negotiable.
Pastors: Go the F^(% Home: Part 1 – Pomomusings
One of my ordination vows was to “be a wholesome example to (my) people.” Yes, I need a life outside the church. Yes, I missed the church garage sale because the cheerleading team I was coaching was a t a competition. Cope. You should ALL have lives outside the church.
I love that “wholesome example” language. I wish PCUSA had that.
I was on the Pastor Nominating Committee about 10 years ago. I remember one member saying “We want someone who will encourage members to invest in the lives of their families.” Another replied, “And someone with a strong work ethic who will put in 50-60 hours.” I pointed out that if the pastor was working 60 hours, it would be hard for him to set an example of prioritizing family. That hadn’t occurred to the committee. (And I say he for a pastor because as of yet, this church hasn’t considered a female pastor.)
So, in other words, they wanted Jesus to be their pastor?
Pastors: Go the F^(% Home: Part 2 – Pomomusings
This is convicting to me right now. Although, I think it is harder to have a “leisure” life when you have a toddler and a baby on the way…
At one point I had all this figured out better. It is a lesson I have to keep learning I guess.
Working As God Leads | www.christopherbenek.com