Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What do I do at work all day?

Many people have no idea what a clergy person does during the week. Most believe that we work all week on a sermon for Sunday. This really upsets most people when they find out that I don't preach every week. Other people think that we only work on Sunday mornings and have the rest of the week off.

So in order to end the confusion here's a list of the top things that most clergy do during the week (for work that is):

1) Work on their sermons (or whatvever it is they do on Sundays - ie youth group, children's ministry). It can take up a lot of our time or a little. Just depends on the week, the topic, and how the Spirit is moving.

2) Pastoral care: This is a fancy word for listening to people who need an ear. I could say a lot of interesting details about what really goes on here but most of the time these discussions are confidential. They range from marital/parental/congregational relationships to confessions to spiritual direction to major mental health issues that must be referred onto someone else.

3) Administrative: Emails, reserving space for retreats, organizing a retreat, updating the web site, planning a small group lesson, returning phone calls, meetings with congregation members, meetings with other clergy, meetings with a Cabinet memeber etc.

4) Visioning: Thinking about the future of the church and where it should be going. This includes creating, refining, casting and evaluating a mission and vision statement.

5) Hospital visits: This could also be included under pastoral care but depending on the church the clergy serves this can take up one or two days a week.

6) Fellowship/relationship building: This can overlap at times with some of the above but building relationships with people in the congregation and people in the community goes a LONG way toward building disciples. I include Twitter and Facebook in this catagory.

7) Praying: Okay everyone should do this not just clergy and clergy are probably the worst at forgetting to pray but a LOT of time needs to be spent in prayer by clergy if we are to do all of the above.

8) Teaching: Blogging, leading a small group, teaching others to lead a Bible study etc...

I'm sure that there's a large number of other things that I've left out. If you've read my blog before you know that I once herded cattle as part of my job. I'm not sure how to categorize that one.

But did you notice what is not on here? Growing the numbers of the church in people or money. Huh?!? How can one be successful as a pastor if one does not have droves of people coming in and lots of money to go with it?

Growth in numbers is a result of these 8 things but not the final destination. I can get people to come to church a few times and can probably get them to give to a specific cause but unless their hearts are changed I've really done no good. If I can help change some hearts then those people can change the world and the numbers will come with it.

So now you know what I do. And I've given myself permission to tool around on Facebook as well!

Until Everyone Hears,

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