Workin' 5 to 9

If I hear one more crack about pastors working just one day a week, I may have to hurt someone."

So said my friend Rick as the community's pastors gathered for our monthly lunch at the El Sombrero restaurant. "People don't really believe that, do they? I work longer hours than anyone on my board."

"I was away from home every night last week," groused Andy, as he reached for the guacamole. "Go tell my kids their dad has an easy job and see what they say."

"My deacons told me I should slow down at church and play a lot more golf," claimed Ron. "They're afraid I'm going to burn out."

The conversation stopped. We stared, then burst out laughing.

"It could happen," Ron, the group comedian, insisted, though he finally admitted, "Well, maybe what they said was, 'You better not burn yourself out. We don't want to have to go through the trouble of finding your replacement.' "

Somewhere between black humor and burnout lies the truth about a pastor's workload. To get at that truth, Leadership asked the ...

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