Over the next several days I’m going to write about 7 myths people have about pastors. A lot of people have ideas about what it means to be a pastor. Many come from their childhood or when their parents made them go to church. Some are picked up from watching TV. But most just aren’t true. Obviously I can only write about myself, but I would bet that many of the other pastors I have met deal with these myths as well.
Myth #1 – Pastors only work 1 day a week.
This is often a well-known joke that many people like to use to “rib” the pastor. Although, I bet there are many who actually believe this is true. And let me say…”I wish it were true”. But its not. In fact, I struggle to NOT work 1 day a week. Seriously, I have to watch it because I can find myself working all the time. I have worked in the secular world and for the church and I can tell you that I could work a lot less doing what I was doing before ministry.
I think some have this idea because they have been to church where it seemed the pastor put together his message the night before. I’ve sat through some of those services and I would feel that way too. But that’s not me. I can spend 20-30 hours alone during the week on preparing the message and service for the weekend. I have to limit myself, because I never feel that I am ready.
I think it comes down to the person. I have heard there are some pastors (although I don’t know any personally) who don’t care that much and seem to only want to do enough to get their paycheck. I am not that way. I pastor because I feel that God has called me to make a difference. I care about excellence in every area of the church – including with myself. I carry the burden of the vision that God has given to me home with me every night. Until I see more people in our church than at home on the weekend, I will never be done nor satisfied. It’s that vision that keeps me working almost too much…
But don’t worry, I still don’t mind the ‘1 day’ a week jokes! In fact, I’ll usually beat you to the punchline. Oh and some day when we offer Saturday evening services, I hope the jokes become “2 days a week”!