Would you sign up for the following job description?

  • On call 24/7/365.
  • Required to step into emotionally laden situations and be the voice of both comfort and reason.
  • Must say things people don’t want to hear, often when they don’t want to hear them.
  • Will be evaluated, compared, and criticized by many people you serve with little recourse or opportunity to respond. Often.
  • Expected to go “above and beyond” on a consistent basis, with little thanks or appreciation.
  • Required to knowledgeably step into domestic, medical, end-of-life, business, and community situations regularly.
  • Have to lead people who often don’t want to be led.
  • Expected to convince people to see things outside the bounds of their typical world-view and change as a result.
  • Must deliver dynamic, persuasive presentations to small and large groups, sometimes as often as a weekly basis.
  • Need to be skilled at leading committee and board meetings on a regular basis, with positive outcomes.
  • Must be compassionate but bold, clear-thinking yet tolerant, truth-speaking yet merciful, as well as kind and approachable at all times.\
  • Serves as an example and guide to the entire staff.
  • Pay range is below the average for similar work in other fields.

In case you’re at a loss as to what position requires such things, it’s that of a local church pastor.

And I’m not being factitious in the least with that list.

Everything there is an expectation someone in the local church family has of their Pastor. Many of the things are hard realities that I and many other Pastors have experienced over the years.

I’m not complaining. My experience in ministry for the almost-20-years I served were something I’d never trade.

And the Pastors I know aren’t complaining either.

I provide this list to give you, the ones who are not in the role of a Pastor, a bit of perspective – and opportunity to know a bit of what it’s like to wear the shoes of a church leader.

AND I SHARE IT FOR A REASON: So you can do something with it.

  • Look at your Pastor with new eyes.
  • Thank him for his work, his heart, his service.
  • Thank God that he serves you and your family willingly and well.
  • Let him know he’s making a difference – and be specific.

Among the many things you have to be thankful for I’d encourage you to put your Pastor at the top of the list.

You may be surprised to know that many Pastors feel undervalued and misunderstood. Don’t let your Pastor be one who feels those things this Thanksgiving.

He’s not perfect, but He’s God’s servant, placed in your life for your good.

He does his best, with God’s help.

He loves you and yours.

He wants the best for you and works humbly to bring it about.