If You Spent a Week with This Preacher

I am closing in on 28 years of Church leadership.  Here are a few of the things that happen every week that you might not know about leading a Church.

  1. Maintaining my own spiritual life.  This is the easiest one to neglect, but it is foundational.  In fact, moral compromise is always the result of not taking care of our own souls.  Most days, I start with a grateful journal, prayer, and Bible reading.  I spend time reading blogs from wise leaders and listening to podcasts.  I like to read and squeeze in as much as time will allow.  A preacher must feed their soul first. 
  2. Preaching and Teaching.  A sermon takes about 10-12 hours to write, and a lesson takes about 5.  Most weeks, I preach one sermon and teach at least one lesson.  Writing is only half the battle.  I must also edit, practice, commit to memory and deliver.
  3. People Issues.  Every week there is someone or something that needs to be handled. This can include hospital visits, upset people, counseling, emails, texts, conversations with leaders, and other meetings.  There is also the time required to deal with people who need assistance in various ways who drop by the building.
  4. Building Maintenance. Some weeks there is trash to be taken out to the dumpster, items that need repair, and contacting the people required to handle issues.  Every week I know there are 2-3 hours of work simply because the congregation owns a building.
  5. Various Ministry Projects.  Each week I write blogs, podcasts and help plan worship.  Monthly we have a leadership meeting where I do a devotion and help lead the meeting.  I am part of a local ministerial alliance with three programs a year, and I will speak at one of them.  There are items to order, receipts to track, and communication with the treasurer.  I also have elders’ meetings, minister’s meetings, and membership class, along with its follow-up. 
  6. My Personal Life.  When all the Church work is done, I still need to connect with my wife and children.  I now spend an hour or two exercising each day.  Finally, I like to do some things that I enjoy, like hunting and fishing. These all bring extra joy to my life.  

Each week when I finish preaching, I immediately know that I am starting over again for another full week. Don’t get me wrong, I am blessed to serve the Lord each day, but it requires more than you imagine – probably just like your job.  My only request is to treat your preacher with grace and kindness as they handle so much more than just your issues.       

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