Pastor' Log

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by mountainrun, Jun 8, 2003.

  1. mountainrun

    mountainrun
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2001
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    0
    Has anyone here had any experience with requiring a pastor to keep a log of his activities?
    I am going to propose that this be done in our church due to excessive absenteeism on the part of our pastor, who seems to think he should be payed for prairie dog hunting, deer hunting, moving to a new house, staying home with sick kids, time spent on firemens training, etc. He says that one of the good things about his job is that it allows him to do these things.
    There is a bit of discontent about this.
    One of the deacons has proposed requiring set days off and a 40 hour week.
    I don't think this will remedy the situation if the pastor feels he can spend hours of this time hunting and be paid for it.
    Your thoughts and experiences?

    MR
     
  2. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,816
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is your Church a Baptist Church?

    Are you paying a Full Time Compensation package?
     
  3. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,641
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you require a pastor log from your pastor (assuming he is willing to do so), you should probably be prepared for him to document at least 60 or more hours a week. I'm assuming you've already checked the unconventional hours, like the late nights and evenings? Trips to and from hospitals, time spent in sermon prep, etc.?
     
  4. randymac

    randymac
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    I believe that the question concerning the payment of a full compensation package is only the first step. The next question would be, does the church already have a job or position description that was presented to the pastor when he was hired? If one does not exist then the board of deacons or the personnel committee should address this immediately. The pastor should spend some time in self-reflection as to his calling and purpose. He should start with 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Only God can speak directly to the heart of your pastor. It is the responsibility of the church to blanket him with prayer and encouragement.
     
  5. mountainrun

    mountainrun
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2001
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    0
    The pastor was hired full time with a full compensation package.
    There is no danger of this pastor logging 60 hours a week, trust me.

    The last one would have been unable to log 20 hours in an entire month for the last two years.
    He only showed up at the church for Wed. and Sunday services and to pick up his check for a 30,000 per year salary. He was hired full time yet convinced the deacons to allow him to work another part time job.

    This one is going more that same direction all the time and this time people are complaining.

    Again, does anyone have any experience with a pastor's log?

    If there are doubts about the amount of time the pastor is spending at his job compared to working on his golf game, a log would clear it up I believe.

    MR
     
  6. Major B

    Major B
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/6069.jpg>

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know that some think 30,000 is a princely salary--it is less than a first year school teacher makes most places. I left a $60,000 a year job to go into the ministry.

    When I was a pastor, I established regular office hours, and did all of my sermon preparation at the office. I spent 25 hours a week in sermon prep alone (since I do expository preaching only). On top of that, there was hospital visitation, shut in visitation, nursing home visitation, counseling, representing the church at associational meetings, performing funerals, etc. Not counting services, I worked 55-60 hours a week at pastoral work.

    I took all day Friday and Monday AM off (unless there was some emergency) and either golfed or worked on woodworking in the parsonage garage.

    Yet there were still people who insisted that I did very little except "sit around and read all the time, or play golf, or play with his table saw."

    Do you work full time? Are you retired? How do you know personally (not from rumor) what your pastor is doing?
     
  7. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    A workman is worthy of his hire. BUT you have to ascertain that he truly is a "workman". Some pastors (really, very few) "milk the system" to get a salary while doing very little real work. A log "might" help.

    Problem with the kind of man you are describing is that he will claim xyz amount of hours in "study" or "prayer and meditation" and how do you disprove that? He may be watch M*A*S*H reruns all day or out bass fishin, but can SAY he is studying/praying and how do you answer that.

    I provide a "log" as an interim pastor for the first few weeks. Then, after the elders/deacons know they are "getting their money's worth, I keep a log only at their request.

    I do keep a "mileage" log (for reimbursement) and detail on it who was counseled, where (at office or home), etc. It is a good record to answer a person like you who has question whether I am working or not.
     
  8. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,972
    Likes Received:
    129
    I'd hate to pay my pastor by the hour, our local church would come out on the short end there. We have had to place a check on our hired help to keep them from working excess hours...the pastors are their own boss though.

    I'll echo Pastor Bob's post. If you went to a Bible school the question probably came up as to whether study time in the Bible for class could be counted as devotional time. Well, with a Pastors log you would have the same problem, trying to separate personal time and professional time. It just can't be done without questioning the pastor's authority.

    So I'd be very careful about suggesting a log unless you are sure you are ready as a congregation to take the next step if the log indicates a problem. Just suggesting he keep a log indicates there is a trust issue between the pastor and some members. Perhaps scheduling some prayer time with him on a regular basis would be a better suggestion. Recognizing his concerns and his needs will tell you the same information without threatening his leadership.

    Rob
     
  9. blackbird

    blackbird
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    11,898
    Likes Received:
    2
    I started keeping a log at the church I'm at now--not because the deacon "board" suggested it but because I suggested it for my own self. Word got out that "the preacher ain't doin' nothin'!" which I knew was a bold face lie! Everything is documented---mercy! Everything---going to the bathroom and walkin' down the hall to the fountain to get a drink of water!!!!!!!! People who come by the office to talk with me---their names get put down and a brief idea of what they talked to me about! When I go visit--hospital or some man's blasted dog pen---I put it down! I put down honestly how much time it takes me to study and write Sunday morning, nite, and Wednesday sermons. I've had distrot wives ring the doorbell at 12midnite--my wife and I get up to "talk" to 1:30 with um---that gets written down! Everything!

    Here's why! When some nosey church member sees me out working in my garden at ten in the morning and says, "We're paying the preacher to work in his garden???!"---they just don't know, do they! They just don't know what exactly the preacher is doin' while "they" are workin' in theirs!! When somebody questions my activities---all I have to do is pull out the black three ringed loose leaf binder full of ruled paper and ask um, "Now, are you certain I haven't been to see Sister So & So?? Are you sure?? Well, lets just see about that!!"

    If some irate church member wants to play "hardball" with the preacher's time---heck--I'll play "hardball!" Ususally they find themselves walkin' back to the dugout with their heads down and lips pooched out with three strikes and no balls thrown on at um!

    Blackbird
     
  10. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,816
    Likes Received:
    0
    I hate to keep harpin' on the money issue but what all does the $30,000 include?

    Housing?
    Health Insurance?
    Retirement?
    Salary?
    Auto Expense?

    I know I couldn't afford to live in Colstrip, MT on $30,000 a year unless I was retired and had another check coming in or had a second job.

    My monthly health insurance premium for me and my wife through the Southern Baptist Annuity Board would be exactly $1101.77. The cheapest health insurance premium through the same route would be $605.97. Now of course depending on the age of your pastor that could be the same or a lot less.

    From my experience in Montana as a pastor, $30,000 is not a Full-Time Compensation Package - It is more than half time but would not be considered full time.
     
  11. blackbird

    blackbird
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    11,898
    Likes Received:
    2
    Hardsheller,
    My feelings exactly! Talking about health insurance---here's how it usually goes in the church scene: typical--

    "Preacher! We're gonna give you 48 a year! Do with it what you want!"

    Well, out of that 48 I have to subtract health insurance--1000 per month--plus subtract my own retirement---another 300 per month out of that 48--I've got to buy gasoline for the vehicle "I" drive for the "church"--that's subtracted! Then my self employement income tax is subtracted and paid to the lovely folks at the IRS quarterly---1500 per quarter. Then I have to live on the rest--

    When on the other hand the average worker--lets just take an employee at the phone company--lets just say he gets the same wage I get---48 a year--and on top of that is his "fringe"--he gets his health insurance paid for on top of that salary--now, he'll moan and groan and kick and scream that he has to pay his wife's and children's health insurance out of his check--but that usually winds up being "chicken feed" compared to what is actually payed by the company for "his" insurance---the company pays retirement and half of his social security tax---

    Now, see what I mean?? Are me and you on the same wavelength, Brother Hardsheller?

    Blackbird
     
  12. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,816
    Likes Received:
    0
    Blackbird,

    Same page, same book. [​IMG]

    Hardsheller
     
  13. Trapper

    Trapper
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2001
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mountainrun
    A log is silly. Perhaps a log should be keep of people like you, are you attending regularly, tithing, ect. If the pastor doesn't have the support of the church, if people really think he isn't worth being their pastor, then fire him. Then you can be like most of Montana and be pastorless for a long period of time.
    Sincerely
    Trapper
     
  14. Major B

    Major B
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/6069.jpg>

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,294
    Likes Received:
    0
    Many pastors in this area have wives who work full time and who bring in the insurance for the household. In my case, the only reason I could afford the pastorate I held for three years is that I have a military retirement and medical benefits. On top of that, I was required to move from my own house to the parsonage (wound up selling the house at a loss because I could not keep it up).

    As a school teacher, (9 years time credit + Masters Degree) I make 40K, plus a medical savings account (since I don't need their medical plan), plus dental, plus 14 weeks a year off. And we are underpaid when you consider the education, etc., that teachers have to maintain.

    The attitude of many churches is: "God, you keep him humble, and we will keep him poor."
     
  15. mountainrun

    mountainrun
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2001
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am not interested in listing the pastors infractions here, or for that matter at a business meeting. I intend to meet privately with the deacons and pastor. Hopefully, the pastor will agree to the log and I will not have to air any complaints in a business meeting.
    His wife has insurance through her $20,000 job and his vehicle expenses are paid. He also gets a housing allowance.
    Suffice it to say that my wife works with his and is kept fully aware of his days of leisure.
    The man was hired as a full time pastor and agreed to the package.

    Blackbird, you have at least been helpful.
    As we have both said a pastor's log would probably clear up any problems along with the deacons suggestion that a set time be made for the days off instead of never knowing when he will be around and a required minimum number of hours.

    Although logging bathroom and drinking fountain time seems a bit spiteful and facetious, I believe that the church has a right to know what the pastor is doing.
    I am required to keep a detailed time card at work so I see no reason why a pastor should not be accountable to those who pay his salary.

    Could you possibly post a sample of your log sheet
    to give us ideas for a format?

    MR
     
  16. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    3,816
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mountain Run,

    Set days off are fine in principle but seldom work out in practice.

    Monday is my day off. Has been forever.

    But you know what those inconsiderate churchmembers do? They have the audacity to get sick and go the hospital on Monday! Their doctors even operate on them on Monday! Some have even had the gall to die on Monday! And to top it off - their families scheduled their funeral for the Next Monday!

    Now you realize this is facetious but it is true.

    So when I visit the hospital all day on Monday or conduct a funeral on Monday and then am seem pulling out of town on Tuesday with my Bird Dogs in the back of the truck. Guess what? That preacher doesn't ever work!

    I'm not defending your pastor. I don't even know him. I've heard he is a good man.

    Perhaps the best way to address this whole matter would be in the spirit of Matt. 18. Go to him and talk to him. Tell him your concerns. You might be surprised at the outcome.
     
  17. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,641
    Likes Received:
    0
    You do realize that this pastor's wife may view this as a betrayal on the part of your wife, to have revealed to you the substance of their conversations. This may cost your wife and your pastor's wife a very important friendship. Be sure of what you know and the action you are taking before you proceed. It won't only be the pastor you affect. Perhaps you could meet with the pastor one-on-one to address your concerns prior to taking it to a formal meeting with the deacons.

    I say this from painful experience of my own. Please consider that hasty actions, even though well intended, could have disasterous results. I know that's not what you're looking for.

    It seems that you feel your ideas have been attacked here. That's not the intention of these replies. Rather, it's to inform you of the time given up by most (admittedly not all) pastors.
     
  18. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Since I as a pastor on avg. work about 60-70 hours a week, I'd love a 40 hour work week :D
     
  19. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mountainrun,

    Just for information, are you considering that out of every dollar you pay the pastor in salary, 25-30 cents, if not more, is going to Uncle Sam in taxes?

    I have a log on a computer program that I use. If you feel this strongly, buy your pastor a Palm Pilot and software called Ministry Notebook 2.0.
     
  20. mountainrun

    mountainrun
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2001
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, Tom. I am aware that taxes must be paid.
    However, thank you for your Ministry Notebook suggestion.

    Dr. Bob, thank your for realizing that not all questions about problems with pastors are baseless and simply the musings of disgruntled parishioners. You may even know this pastor. He is formerly of Wyoming himself.

    To those who say the pastor should be met with one on one first, this has been done about 6 months ago, by my wife who thought it best I not go. At that time, he acknowledged he was being deficient in his duties and would do better, which he did for a while.
    Now the problem, which he admitted to, is recurring.

    To those pastors who think they are so grossly underpaid, don't take the job at the agreed on wage if you don't like it.
    This pastor agreed to do the job for the wage we pay and is not holding up his end.

    The problem is not cutting him back to 40 hours per week but getting him to show up at all.
    So to all you who insist you work long hard hours for your ungrateful flock, I would pat you on the backs if your own hands were not already in the way.

    To those who sincerely tried to help, my thanks.

    MR
     

Share This Page

Loading...