Pastor's Pastor

What pastors should not have to do

Pastors are turned into workaholics by their love for people and God’s work, but work is not always healthy, and they need the break just like we do.

 Lydia Young, MA, is a middle school teacher residing in Phoenix, Arizona, United States.

Every time the doors at our church were open, I was there. My par­ents were involved, because my dad was a pastor, and we lived right next door to the church. Living next door to the church and being very involved in church life led to my dad being overworked, stressed, and exhausted.

When I became an adult, I helped the pastor with trivial duties. However, these trivial things grew into a full-time job, and I realized something—there are some things pastors should not have to do. 

Clean the church. These chores consume many hours during the week. That is not what God called them to do.

Fill the baptistryOr prepare the communion emblems. These tasks are time consuming. My younger sister, my brother, and I always cleaned and filled the baptistry for our dad, and this took a few hours. The night before a pastor preaches, he/she needs to spend much time in prayer.

Plan social events. My dad loved to plan and organize things, but I also know that quite a few people in our churches had organizational and management skills. We do it also in our everyday jobs, but when it comes to church, we do not always assist. If you have the extra time to plan social events, then invest that time and energy to assist, because your pastor certainly does not have the extra time.

Operate the sound system. This is the place where I picked up the slack for both my dad and my current pastor. This does not take much time to learn, and it is a behind-the-scenes job, so if you are like I am, you will find it the perfect job.

Work seven days a week. You realize that pastors work through the weekends for church and every day during the week studying, getting ready for Bible studies and sermons, making house calls, visiting, and counseling. They do not ever stop working. In our family, the phone was on all day and night, which means that my father could receive a call at 2:30 A.M. and he would leave to go take care of someone. How long could your body last working 24/7? My current pastor takes a day off from being a pastor every week, and I think every pastor should do that. That time off is required so the body can relax and be able to function at its optimum best.

Abort a vacation for minor emergencies. More than likely, this emergency is not something that only your pastor can handle. He or she does not take vacations that often, so let him or her have a week off now and then. Any emergencies should be filtered through local church leaders just to make sure there is no one else who can fix the problem. Pastors are turned into workaholics by their love for people and God’s work, but work is not always healthy, and they need the break just like we do.

Preach without prayer support. The pastor stands between the enemy and the church all the time, constantly under Satan’s pressure and attacks. We would deal with spiritual attacks nearly every week growing up. Yet we knew the difference it made to us when our prayer warriors were on their knees praying for us. Never stop praying for your pastor!

Do everything. A pastor should not have to do everything. The main thing he or she needs to focus on is sharing the Word of God with God’s people.

It’s time we, as members, stop sitting down and making our pastors do all the work. I pray that you will join me in lifting the nominal tasks from our pastors’ shoulders so that they can focus on what God has called them to do—preach the Word.

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 Lydia Young, MA, is a middle school teacher residing in Phoenix, Arizona, United States.

December 2015

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