Pecans and Pastors, continued

A reader writes, regarding yesterday’s post:

Congregations need to know that when they expect 60 hours a week out of their pastor, when they routinely call the pastor on their day off, when they burden the duties of all the work of programs and activities on their pastor…all of these things…it creates resentment and bitterness…

And when we’re resentful and bitter, we can’t be pastors, ministers, teachers, shepherds, or effective preachers of the gospel.

It’s frustrating because of the cultural expectations surrounding pastors. If we refuse to do this stuff, or try to create a culture where the congregation does it and we support, resource and cheer lead, then we are seen as lazy and not wanting to do our jobs. I actually saw something in the regional church newsletter that referred to the expectation that full-time = at least 50 hours per week, and a statement was attached that “our younger pastors squawk about it, but they just don’t have the work ethic we’re used to seeing in our older pastors.”

We’ve created a cultural dependence on our presence in the churches. We’re so afraid that the church will run just fine without us that we’ve made ourselves indispensable, creating a culture where we get burnt out and frustrated and bitter.

And that’s not good…for us as ministers or for the congregations that we serve.

To a certain extent, that absolutely matches my experience.