You can take this job and...

Some people think being a full-time youth pastor (or any pastor for that matter) is very easy money. You can see it in their eyes when they ask "What do you do all week?" (if I had a dollar for every time...). Agreed, I don't have to perform endless hours of manual labour, but believe you me... pastoring does have its huge challenges, and yes, even pastors come home sometimes dreaming of another occupation.

A long time ago when I sanded car doors, when I packed kiwifruit, when I milked cows, when I washed hair, when I flipped burgers... I could forget about work at the end of the day. Work ceased to exist from the time I clocked out to the time I clocked in. My non-work hours were spent thinking about everything else but work. For a pastor, 'work' never stops (except maybe for holidays, and even that's debatable). Pastors don't really have a private life. Unlike certain politicians, what we may choose to do or not do in our spare time could very easily destroy our lives... and the lives of many others. It's a big deal.

Just this morning I was staring at the ceiling at 4:30am thinking, praying, worrying, then stopping myself and praying again... for people. People. Jesus lived and died (and lived again) for people. So that people could know God. Pastors are pastors because they feel called to spend their lives helping people know God.

It's hard when people I pastor experience tragedy, trials, conflict. It's especially hard when people are offended at me, but it hurts most when people walk away from God... I wonder how God feels? I can't clock out and forget about that.

Please don't think I'm asking for sympathy. On the contrary... I doubt if I would be fulfilled doing anything else. I'm built for this, and do it gladly (most of the time ;-).

For the pastors reading this, be encouraged. Pastoring is a high calling. When you feel like throwing in the towel and doing something easier, don't. Think about how the person in the Chinese sweatshop feels right now... assembling Barbie ripoffs for 80 hours a week so that their children can eat.

For everyone else reading this... your pastors (if they are genuine and unfortunately there are some who aren't) love you and want the very best for you. They work not for 'easy money' but for your well being.

I thank God for my pastors. I thank God that I'm a pastor, and I thank God for the opportunity to help people know God (and get paid for it ;-).

8 comments:

sewfunky said...

well-written... I once worked as a secretary for a pastor and was amazed at how much he was called on. Basically on-call 24/7 (sounds a little like a Mum! LOL). I know he used to let the phone go to answer-phone at dinner time, just so he could have some uninterrupted time with his family!

Rachel Kate said...

great post Symz! and nope, don't think I'd want your job, but am so super grateful for the amazing influence you and K are to everyone in flame... Praying for you both :)

Rhys said...

I totally agree there, I dont envy your job at all but its great we have people like you called into ministry to help guide and spread the good news.
You're really appreciated by so many, especially me keep up the good work brother.

Neen said...

Thanks for sharing that Symz. I think I'm married to a Pastor.

arna said...

I know it's tough at times... I get it. But you do an excellent job and I appreciate your dedication, honesty, genuine-ness, commitment, flexibility, listening ear and all the rest.

You and Kristy are "one" of a kind - and treasures.

Jon Dylan said...

You rock sym

Rachel Kate said...

what happened to your other blog?

Symon Burton said...

I felt to delete it.