Being a Pastor is a unique job. I am not going to tell you it is the toughest job in the world as I hear so often at Pastor’s conferences, but it is unique. I have been thinking about all of the unique parts of being a pastor and a few might interest or even surprise you.
1. Almost everyone knows me. This is especially true since I have children in school. I meet people in the supermarket and they call me by name. There is this moment of panic as I try to think about the person’s name and where I know them. People have heard me at funerals, at worship, at public functions, through the school and a dozen other ways. I am always up front and I do not get to meet everyone personally, but they still know me. It creates many awkward situations and scenarios.
2. I Am Jack of All Trades (maybe master of none). Sometimes I read scripture, pray, mop the floor, write a sermon, offer marital counseling, select songs for worship, teach teenagers about God and plunger the toilet. Honestly, I did all of those a week ago on a Wednesday and Thursday. This week I will do very spiritual things. I will also lock doors, empty trash, clean up bugs by the front door, write blogs, watch worship related videos, read articles on the internet, catch a webinar and a dozen other things – most of which Bible College did not prepare me to do.
3. Many of my conversations are very awkward. This is caused by numerous issues. Sometimes I know intimate details about a person and their struggles and it makes for an odd talk in the Church lobby. Sometimes people just don’t know what to say to a pastor. Sometimes people say things that they think are inappropriate and it creates an uneasy tension. Should a pastor always end his conversations with a prayer?
4. People who attend Church remember little things I have long forgotten. Each week I share stories from my life and experiences as sermon illustrations. Quite often someone will hear one of those stories and it will touch their life and they will remember it. A year later they will be talking to me and say “It’s like you and bananas.” I have to think about what this person is talking about and how they know that about it. It is extremely possible that your knowledge of me and my life far surpasses my knowledge of you.
5. I hate pastor appreciation month. Fathers, mothers and grandparents all get a day. Pastors get a month. It creates this awkward tension because it so promoted on Christian radio. Then some Churches go over the top with their show of appreciation that it makes other Churches look like they do not care. Here is the deal – 100% honest – if you want to show me appreciation in October each year – Attend every Sunday. That is the single greatest show of respect. If you do not think that is enough. Then get involved and do something. Still not enough? Then bring your friends to worship with you. These actions are the greatest forms of appreciation. Seriously!
I know there are other parts of my job that people would find unique. I can come back and add to my list later. But for now, think on these things. And thanks for letting me be your pastor.