Thom Rainer recently shared stats on elder expectations of a pastor's time, based on a creative experiment he did several years ago (be sure to read the background). Here's his list:
- Prayer at the church: 14 hours
- Sermon preparation: 18 hours
- Outreach and evangelism: 10 hours
- Counseling: 10 hours
- Hospital and home visits: 15 hours
- Administrative functions: 18 hours
- Community involvement: 5 hours
- Denominational involvement: 5 hours
- Church meetings: 5 hours
- Worship services/preaching: 4 hours
- Other: 10 hours
Total: 114 hours/week
"If I met just the minimum expectations of twelve deacons, I would have to work more than 16 hours a day for seven days a week. Or I could take one day off of work each week, and work 19 hours a day for six days a week. And remember, I still would only meet the minimum expectations of twelve people in the church, not the entire membership." Thom says.
It looks extreme when you spell it out, but these expectations aren't unusual. Just unhealthy. (But that's why pastors make the big bucks, right?)
In light of this, how's your self care?
A few resources:
- The Center for Creative Leadership shares 5 ways people juggle life and work. Which are you? What will you need to do to structure rest and balance into your ministry life?
- In case you missed it in May, read Taylor Field's outstanding article "Don't Just Do Something, Stand There!"
- Leadership Journal icon Gordon MacDonald reminds us that time off is vital for us to come back to our ministries sharp and ready to re-engage.
- For those of you ready to run like Elijah into the wilderness, Steve Wiens thinks you should follow your instinct … wisely. Run for your life.
Pastor, care for yourself.
Copyright © 2013 by the author or Christianity Today/Leadership Journal.
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