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:

Pastor, care for yourself.

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