PASTORING IS A 24 HOUR, 7 DAY A WEEK JOB?
No, Pastors dont work 24/7 but it sure feels that way at times!
Why the ambivalence?
I think its because church workers avail themselves to anyone at any given time so that pastoral needs are met. This is one job you cant leave at the office!
Since taking up the position of Vicar at Christ Church, there is absolutely no end to activities, making decisions, replying to calls/emails, responding to crises, attending meetings, leading services and ministering at praying/counselling sessions.
Its a tough job, pastoring a Parish. I have learned and relearned 3 things about Pastoring so far in Christ Church.
Pastors Like The People They Serve.
To like people is not an emotive feeling but the delight which comes from entering into another person's pilgrimage. Objectivity is important in our relationships. Accepting people as they are is not dealing with a blank piece of paper. Accepting somebody means we listen to people and enjoying their stories be it in an informal or formal occasion.
How about the unlikeable ones? Well, they sanctify our souls, keep us humble and deliver us from complexities. We become more human and more likeable.
Secondly, Keep Your Eye On The Great Commission.
We are here to go, disciple, preach, evangelize and baptize the nations. Sounds kinda impossible to do. Maybe thats why its easier to get lost in needs, issues, problems, reactions from personalities, challenges and lose sight of our main purpose, which is of course the task of obeying Christ's commandment to "Go".
Thirdly, Hear God's Voice/Receiving Enabling Through Daily Devotions.
Pastors are stewards. We've been sent to by Christ to follow Christ as He builds His Church. Hearing His voice on a daily basis through our daily devotions is the bedrock of a Pastor's life. Ignore this and everything falls apart!
Most pastors, including myself are not super saints (dont think I've met one!). People fail us and we fail them. Liking people is not an emotional feeling but a lot of work. Its easier to get distracted instead of focusing on the Great Commission and finding time to be with the Lord in the midst of our busy schedule is not easy but a great challenge.