Deerflatchurch   -  

“For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.” 1 Tim 2:7 (ESV)

It’s interesting that the author has to confirm that he’s telling the truth and affirm that he’s not lying.  We expect a lot from our pastors. As a consultant in the leadership and workforce arena, I thought about the job description of a pastor.

Here’s my best shot at summarizing what we expect out of our pastor:

  • Must be educated and articulate in the Bible and able to discuss the entire book line-by-line, in summary, and the overall story. But cannot use it too much or in the wrong settings or in a way that makes us feel uncomfortable.
  • Must be able to relay the Word of God to the congregation in a way that convicts us, but not too much. Also must convict our neighbor slightly more.
  • Must be young and energetic, but with many years of experience in teaching, organizing and leading.
  • Must be charismatic, humorous and charming. But also very grounded and even-tempered. And not too funny. And charming enough to be engaging to make me feel good about myself and life, but not so much that I question their sincerity.
  • Must be a great fundraiser, but not talk about raising funds.
  • Must be able to counsel everyone in the church without needing counsel themselves.
  • Must be happily married with a devout family, all of whom are pious and free from sin and trouble of their own.
  • Must be willing to work at the church, the schools, the hospital, the homes and gatherings any time of day or night without regard for personal health, safety, sanity or other obligations.
  • Must be able to tolerate all of the personalities of the church, witness church members going astray and attempt to gently remind them of their sin without actually saying the word ‘sin’.
  • Must have a grasp of budgets, planning, programs, training and the ability to counsel staff, work with vendors, speak the truth always and always in a kind, loving, gentle manner like Christ Himself.
  • Must be comfortable talking about hunting, fishing, farming, golf, the weather, cars, sports, relationships, God in the world, the world itself. And pickleball.
  • The spouse must be equally devoted to the minister, the church, the family and able to answer the call for volunteers while also always available for the needs of the family so that the minister can answer all of the same calls.
  • The spouse must be willing to work for free with a smile and support her spouse, but willing to take and hear the criticisms without defending too much Being attractive is highly desired but not required… because you know that whole God looks at the inside thing.
  • Pay is dependent on experience, but is roughly 30-40% of the pay for the same talents, education and experience in the secular world.
  • Must have own transportation, housing, phone and everything else required to do the job without expectation of additional compensation.
  • Vacation time is dependent on health of congregation, weddings, funerals, and all events that are important to the congregation as well as individual congregants. Vacations are best taken on Monday nights, Friday mornings, never more than an hour from the church and should always include a Biblical or spiritual theme.

This job requires many other talents, sacrifices and dedication that are too lengthy to list. But one of the most difficult aspects is that the criticism-appreciation ratio is about 100-1. So as we celebrate pastor appreciation month, let’s all truly appreciate the blessing that all of our pastors are to us, our families, our church families and to the mission of salvation itself.

Oscar Evans, on behalf of the Board of Directors