Three years and a half ago, I left everything that was known to me behind. I left my family, friends, country and comfort zone in order to come to South Africa and study a career that most people don’t see as such, I left everything I knew to study Theology. Theology is the study of God, career that I followed in a Christian college and which gave me the opportunity to learn how church works and what the role of a Pastor really is.
I used to think a Pastor’s job was simply to preach to a congregation on a sunday, most people who don’t normally come to church, think that what a pastor does is simply talk and depending on their attitude towards the church, they might also think that a pastor’s job is to steal money from the congregation. Leaving opinions about the church and religion in general behind, I would like to explain my experience working with and watching pastors doing their job, which you would not imagine how much effort requires, nor you would imagine how much satisfaction it brings.
From Sunday to Sunday
At least in the church that I got to be a part of, pastors have an office schedule. They come at 8 and leave at around 5 pm. During this time it is their job to organise the different areas that as leaders they need to take care of. Don’t get me wrong, they do not do everything but they do make sure everything gets done by trusting different teams with a variety of tasks.
Meetings, scheduling, organising, connecting with people and making sure budgets are approved, pastors pretty much make sure the church functions as it should or as it was planned or envisioned. All this added to the time of research, devotion and thought that is needed in order to write a message for the congregation.
All around the world
Since most churches have a vision of expansion and influence, it is becoming more and more common for them to have multiple campuses not only at a local level, but at an international level. Because of this, traveling is a common part of a pastor’s job. From campus to campus they travel to deliver a message that will impact the congregation breaking every cultural boundary and contributing to the unity of the church.
It is important to mention that most pastors already have a family and they have the responsibility to balance both ministry and their personal lives. It is no easy job to take care of two to three kids and make sure your wife does not get overwhelmed with your absence while you travel. This is a sacrifice and effort that not many see or value in this type of career. At our church it is always said that there should be a balance between family and ministry, your family is indeed your first ministry but both God (His church) and your family should be your priority and should be taken care of with the same excellence.
Love God, love people
As much as a church may seem structured and organisation-like, church is and should always be about people. It is an institution that started as a helper to connect people to God, help them grow and challenge them, it is an institution that is meant to build strong families, strong individuals and more than anything an institution that is meant to reflect the love of God. Therefore, a pastor’s job, same as any other member of the church, can be resumed in the following: Loving God and loving people.
This also leads the pastors to make sure that everything their church does, including their culture is based on love. It leads them to create a support system that makes sure that every individual in the congregation has pastoral care available and a safe environment to grow in.
Because it is a job that requires an inner conviction, being a pastor is something that only passionate people that love God and his Church should do. And if that inner conviction is real, they will not stop until their best is seen in every area, until the outcome they see in people’s lives surpass any other satisfaction that any other job could offer.
Have you ever thought of what being a Pastor involves? Let us know!