I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it takes to work in ministry and be a pastor. Let’s just say it’s not a job for the faint of heart. From my insurance agent days I remember that pastors are considered uninsurable for most life insurance policies. There are certainly much more dangerous professions: crab fisherman, underwater welder, holding public office as a Kennedy (J/K). In all seriousness, being a pastor is probably the hardest job out there.
I am fortunate to have had many great pastors in my life. My gr mother raised four of them. But what does the job really take? Well you gotta have tough skin. You can’t be afraid of criticism, personal attacks on yourself and your family, or long hours. You have to be beyond reproach. The book of James actually says don’t aspire to be in leadership in the church because people will judge you more harshly. That statement was true then and it’s true today. Think about it for a minute. People go to church to be encouraged, inspired and held accountable. The pastor is there to help you maneuver through life’s toughest times: marriage, new babies, and even the last right of death.
Being a pastor is the loneliest job out there. You’re the one stand ing up there every Sunday morning to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Some sermons are perfect and on point while, some will always fall short of your intensions. A certain percent of people will love what you say, a certain percent of people will hate it, and the rest won’t care. Walking into it, statistically speaking, if you reach 33% of your congregation you’re actually doing well, but no one goes into ministry to reach at best 1/3 of the population. It’s taxing and all preachers have their own sins and struggles to overcome without the support their members have. So if you go to church write your pastor a thank you card once in a while, because being a pastor is one of the toughest jobs out there.