pastoral expectations

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by abcgrad94, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    After reading a couple current threads, it's glaringly obvious that many church members have misguided expectations of pastors. From what I gather, pastors should somehow preach, teach, mow the grass, visit the sick, evangelize the lost, coddle the members, repair the church building, immediately call any member who misses a service, AND do so without a salary because after all, he should have a "real" job. He is to work 40-plus hours a week for the church and another 40 at his "real" job, while neglecting his wife and kids. If they grow up to abandon the faith, why, that's no concern of the church. Oh no, the pastor's primary goal in life is to meet all the demands of the body.

    The deacon's job is to SUPERVISE the pastor and make sure he EARNS any pittance paid him. Above all, the pastor should be humble and poor.

    Folks, it's time we take a sincere, realistic look at what we expect of our pastors and then apply those expectations to OURSELVES and our own families. Before we complain about our shepherds, we need to take a good look at our own behavior and see how WE can better support our churches and how WE can encourage and uplift our pastors instead of complaining, condemning, and tearing down.
     
  2. Herald

    Herald
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    I chuckle at the idea that all pastors should be bi-vocational. There are pastors that need to be bi-vocational out of necessity. Their church may be too small to support a full time salary and benefits. Tell me, (I am asking this generically) what is your reasonable expectation for a pastor who may be working 50 hours a week, is married, and raising children? Sermon prep takes a lot of time. Some pastors take 10-20 hours a week in preparing their Lord's Day message. This is in addition to the hours spent on their day job and with their families. The callous disregard of many church bodies towards their pastor is one of the leading causes of pastors either leaving a church or quitting the ministry.

    If a church has the financial means it should free its pastor up to labor in the Word and prayer full time. It is to their benefit that he does so.
     
  3. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    :applause: :wavey:
     
  4. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
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    Agreed. Those churches that can support a pastor full-time need to do so, and not at starvation wages. If they can afford the building, they can find a way to pay the man a decent salary.

    Many church members today seem to think they rightfully sit in judgment of their pastor. So, if anyone is among those, please tell me this: Who sits in judgment of you? Could you pass muster if watched 24/7?

    ABC is right. Get off your high horse and take a serious look at your own life, instead of judging those who attempt to bring you into God's presence once or twice a week.
     
  5. SolaSaint

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    :applause::applause:

    I wonder how each of us that are not Pastors would feel if we were expected to perform at our daily jobs like we expect our Pastors to perform?
     
  6. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Several years ago, our young pastor distributed a survey among the members. The survey asked how much time we expected him to spend in various activities.

    Sermon preparation
    Outreach visitation
    Personal witnessing
    Hospital visitation.
    Teaching
    Administrative duties
    Denominational activities
    Counseling
    Revivals at other churches
    Conventions and conferences
    Personal devotion and study

    When he tabulated the results, we were in for a shock. The surveys indicated that if he spent as much time in those activities as we thought he should, he would be working 80 hours a week, which included two sermons on Sunday, a Wednesday Bible study.

    It was immediately obvious that these expectations were unrealistic. For instance, we didn't realize that he spent 15-20 hours a week just on sermon and Bible study preparation.

    I remember what he said. "Folks, I have responsibilities as your pastor that nobody else can do. If I neglect them, you won't be happy. I also have responsibilities that go with just being a member of this church. There are some things that, if you don't do them, they won't get done. I can't and won't do those things that you as members should take responsibility for doing. There are going to be some times when I am simply not available. You'll have to handle those times."

    I'm wondering if our expectations were typical of those of many churches.
     
  7. go2church

    go2church
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    Wow! What kind of churches do you all attend? Good grief, it sounds like to me those churches should save us all a lot of trouble and just close up.
     
  8. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    Tom, your church's survey results are typical of most churches. It comes from the "country club" mentality of the members. But it isn't really their fault, they have not been taught better by their pastors. Your young pastor had it right!
     
  9. webdog

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    Outside of administrative duties and preaching outside the church at revivals, what on that list is unreasonable expectation? If one person cannot handle it, they should follow the biblicap model of a plurality of elders. Where in the Bible is the qualification of an elder to include 20 hours of sermon prep time?
     
    #9 webdog, Sep 5, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2013
  10. Mexdeaf

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    The point wasn't the expectations themselves, but the time the congregation expected hm to spend on each one, every week.
     
  11. webdog

    webdog
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    That appears to be quite the exagerated caricature you have portrayed. I've been reading and involved in most of these threads. Outside of one, maybe two people who think a pastor should not be payed, everything else on your list is fiction.

    I do agree we need to support and pray for our leaders and examine our own involvement and role in serving within the church.
     
  12. Mexdeaf

    Mexdeaf
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    The "caricature" is actually a reality for many pastors and churches.
     
  13. webdog

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    That could also be flawed. One person could have listed 5 of those and divided it by a 40 hpur work week while another listed 5 different and did the same thing, and so on. When all of the tasks were added up with the time expectations totaled, the numbers could be scewed. Hardly a fair or scientific survey to conduct.
     
  14. webdog

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    I was going by what she said concerning the threads running here.

    Considering most churches are run with a business model mindset, those would he normal expectations of 'employees', 'shareholders' and 'customers' of their CEO. We shouldn't fault the people..."the customer is always right".
     
  15. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    Except for the mowing the grass part, it was a complete reality for us in every way for 7 years. That's why we're taking a break from ministry due to severe burn-out.

    Web, the threads I spoke of are laced with expectations of pastors. One poster complains the pastor doesn't visit/socialize enough. The OP did x, y, and z when HE was a pastor and had kids, so why aren't younger pastors doing so? Another pastor is accused of being insulted because he has to "work for a living." Someone else expressed the opinion that pastors should work a "real" job like everyone else. Then there's the argument of whether or not they should even be paid.

    I'm not trying to pick on any one person in any of those threads, but my point is, we ALL have ideas of what pastors should or should not do, and reality is that no one person can live up to everyone's expectations, nor should they be pressured to do so.

    Jesus Christ was the perfect shepherd and the spiritual leaders of His time STILL managed to gripe and complain and condemn him.
     
  16. abcgrad94

    abcgrad94
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    Very true.

    I think we've come a long way from how "church" was done back in Acts. And that is not necessarily a good thing.
     
  17. Mexdeaf

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    Could be, but other surveys have been done reflecting the same unrealistic expectations of pastors.
     
  18. Revmitchell

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    Yes it is and until one has actually served as a pastor they have not a clue and do not know what they are talking about. I went on vacation and while I was gone my chairman of Deacons (who is retired) covered for me by taking phone calls making visits and dealing with issues. When I gt back he told me he never wants my job. Not because he doesn't care for the people but the demands can be quite challenging.

    Putting 15-20 hours into a sermon is quite common and needful. I have had tomes where I have had to spend less time but those are rare.
     
  19. webdog

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    That's like saying since you have never served as president you have no clue what you are talking about concerning the job he does. Also,sermon preparation is a relatively modern invention of the church. Does it really need to take 3, 8+ hour days to prepare a half hour talk...or is that merely what one chooses to do? If one knows the Bible like an elder is expected to, I can't figure out why it would ever take that long. I know for a fact my pastor prepares his sermon on Tuesdays. I'm willing to bet he spends less than 8 hours total preparing.
     
    #19 webdog, Sep 6, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2013
  20. abcgrad94

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    it depends on whether the pastor is fixing a light snack or a gourmet meal. "Knowing the Bible" is like knowing how to fix a sandwich or microwave some soup.

    A real cook will make recipes from scratch and devise his own recipes without just copying something from a cookbook. He will research what foods compliment each other and what temperatures and spices bring out the best flavor. He'll take hours to make sure the ingredients are fresh, healthy, cooked to perfection, and presented in a pleasing, thoughtful manner that satisfies the appetite.

    A painter can know how to paint and have a brush in hand. That doesn't mean it takes him minutes to create a masterpiece. He has to prep the surface, check temperatures, mix the colors, and use the right brushes for each painting. A musician can "know music" but it takes more than a couple hours to compose a song.

    In college, we learned in speech class that for every hour of public speaking, we needed a MINIMUM of three hours preparation. This was for writing our speeches and fine-tuning them. If we had lots of sources to site, or detailed information to give, the prep time would be much longer.

    So, I guess it depends if we want to nourish our spirits with cheap, greasy fast food, or healthy, wholesome meals. The former tastes good and seems economical, but the latter sustains longer and provides better health.
     

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