The pastorate is one of the few professions where the professional can aspire to be Renaissance person, someone who employs a number of skills and interests to serve God and neighbor.
After I'd pastored Lake Avenue Congregational Church for about a year, Peter Wagner said to me, "I think the two toughest jobs in the world are being President of the United States and pastor of Lake Avenue Congregational Church." I don't know that Lake Avenue was tougher than other pastorates, but I am convinced he was at least partially right. The pastorate is among the most difficult vocations today.
To begin with, pastors rarely see their work neatly and tidily wrapped up. Just before I entered seminary, a veteran Wesleyan Methodist pastor took me by the arm and said, "There's one thing I enjoy in the ministry more than anything else."
He had a twinkle in his eye, so I knew he was setting me up. But I went for it: "What's that?"
"Saturday mornings. That's the morning I mow my lawn. It's the one ...1