Should a pastor hold office hours at the church office?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Jkdbuck76, Sep 7, 2015.

  1. Jkdbuck76

    Jkdbuck76
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2,262
    Likes Received:
    64
    So a fellow deacon went "inactive" for a year. He told our pastor that somebody complained that the pastor ought to have regular office hours.

    Our pastor lives 65 minutes away from our church.
    His brand new car (not even a year old) has 22,000 miles on it. Our Pastor has a cell phone on 24/7/365. If someone needs something, he drops what he's doing, gets his wife, and hits the road.

    He has had his house on the market since 2010--no buyers because he lives in a bad part of the city.

    So...should a pastor hold regular office hours? When I asked him, he said he used to, but people dropped by all the time and interrupted his Biblical studies.

    Funny how this was the same issue that this deacon (and another) tried to force on the previous pastor. This apparently is a hot button issue for them! Our pastor is trying, for a second time, to re-do the Constitution and Bylaws since they are WOEFULLY INADEQUATE and leave us wide open to lots of problems.

    So, in addition to asking for you all to pray for our church, I have to ask: should a pastor have regular office hours at the church? (my answer: NO)

    Sent from my KFTT using Tapatalk
     
  2. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,069
    Likes Received:
    216
    Good reason to have a secretary
     
  3. Gib

    Gib
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    Messages:
    27,256
    Likes Received:
    13
    Hmm, thinking about all the pastors I know, most of them keep office hours. I don't personally know, other than a few here, any pastors that aren't paid staff members. So, my opinion is only on paid pastors. IMO I think pastors should have flexible office hours. There are some days my pastor doesn't come to the office all day, but even though he's not there, he's doing ministry. Our church has an expectation for him to be flexible with his time and he is.

    Our pastor spends a fair amount of time in our community going to the hospital, visiting and so on. He's on the administrative committee for our baptist association and will go to meetings on a monthly basis. We both go to association meetings, conferences and the sort, all out of the office, if time permits.

    Of the few pastors I know who do not keep office hours, their church has no expectation for them to do so. I think a churches expectation will say a lot about what kind of office hours their pastor should keep.

    My dad, a senior adult pastor, has recently been called as an interim pastor. He has the time and spends about 20 hours a week at the church and making visits (not including mid-week & Sunday).

    Personally, I like office hours. Each of my work days are planned out. I pretty much know what I'm doing on Mondays, Tuesdays and so on. Of course, ya gotta be flexible because life rarely goes as planned. That's what Fridays and Saturdays are for.
     
  4. Jkdbuck76

    Jkdbuck76
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2,262
    Likes Received:
    64
    We do have a secretary. Our pastor is on local and state boards.

    Part of my problem is that my church is a "don't bring us into the 21th century" church. Our constitution does NOT put us on good grounds with the recent SCOTUS ruling at all. There is no language in there about what we believe is biblical marriage. Our associational missionary warned us five years ago to get it all in order and when our pastor tried to bring it up, he got pushback. I'll give you a hint: our #4 item in our constitution reads:

    we accept the King James Bible as being the only inspired word of God.

    An ignorant statement.

    Sent from my KFTT using Tapatalk
     
    #4 Jkdbuck76, Sep 7, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2015
  5. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    Messages:
    38,273
    Likes Received:
    777
    The interruption of his study time can be handled by just saying "sorry he is not available right now" and sending them away.

    There should be office hours but they should be flexible. Pastors are often available 24/7 and that can effect many other things.
     
  6. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,138
    Likes Received:
    364
    Off topic but if you want, we just rewrote our by-laws and voted to change them this week (which passed unanimously, by the way) and I can send you a copy for your pastor. It is sometimes helpful to work off of someone else's done work. :)
     
  7. Jkdbuck76

    Jkdbuck76
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2,262
    Likes Received:
    64
    thanks. I'll take it!

    Edit: I sent u a pm.

    Sent from my KFTT using Tapatalk
     
    #7 Jkdbuck76, Sep 7, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2015
  8. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,138
    Likes Received:
    364
    I do believe some office hours are important and I also understand the issue of the study time being interrupted which is why my husband will either work on his message at home or at the boat, depending on the season/weather. Hubby's schedule is pretty much:

    Sunday - 7:30 am - 12 noon - door to door with church in the middle
    Monday - off
    Tuesday - he goes into the office from about 9-11 and then starts working on his message at home.
    Wednesday - meeting day - meetings from 9 am - 1 pm. He will usually also use this time to get things done at church that need doing. He's not typically leaving church until 5 pm on Wednesday
    Thursday - message prep day - no office hours
    Friday - 9:30 prayer time with the other pastors and he will try to leave around lunchtime or shortly after, depending on what's going on
    Saturday - off

    Of course things change as need be but this is the typical week. I think having at least 2 days a week to be in the office would be appropriate so that congregants know when they can schedule meeting times with the pastor.
     
  9. padredurand

    padredurand
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    4,384
    Likes Received:
    20
    I have never had office hours. :flower:
     
  10. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2015
    Messages:
    979
    Likes Received:
    12
    This was one of the main reason that I suggested some 40 years ago that the leaders of the church of which I was a member back then spend some money to purchase a good answering machine for our pastor.

    You see, back then our pastor had a dedicated telephone line that would by-pass the church office and go directly to him.

    This answering machine also had a feature that displayed the caller's name and phone number--a feature that most phones of that era didn't have.

    Now the pastor could immediately tell who it was that was calling him. If he was occupied with other business, then that incoming phone call was directly sent to a recording.

    While I'm not a pastor, I remember him telling me that this answering machine was well worth the money that the church spent for it.
     
  11. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    10,458
    Likes Received:
    136
    Had all this technical stuff been available in my day, I'd have done a few things differently, including office hours! I think I would have been in the office on a "Need be" basis, and used the computer and phone to my advantage! so much can be accomplished through cyber space today, even texting (gasp)!

    Still, when it comes down to it, there is a definite need to be a hands on pastor, and that could be by appointment. I spent many lonely hours in a dark office! Hours I could have spent differently, and more productively, IMHO! :flower:
     
  12. revmwc

    revmwc
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Messages:
    4,037
    Likes Received:
    69
    Wouldn't work for me, I have a 40+ hour secular job. the church can't afford to pay me a living wage. they do pay me a monthly salary althoug small. But many bi-vocational pastors would find it hard to keep regular hours. When something comes up someone in the hospital I get a phone call and unless a dire emergency I will get to the hospital once I get off at 5:00 P.M.
     
  13. JohnDeereFan

    JohnDeereFan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    11
    Depends on what you mean by "regular".

    At the very least, living an hour away is problematic.
     
  14. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    Messages:
    7,406
    Likes Received:
    99
    The OP presents a problem that is, as rightly noted by others, solved with some simple solutions like hiring a competent church secretary.

    While I can't speak for other pastors, my general rule is to be in the office from 9:00-5:00 Monday through Thursday. My office hours aren't posted but individuals interested in appointments can talk with my assistant and we can schedule these things. I do not, generally, have an open door policy as I never know when I'll be in study, conference, counseling, or some other pastoral ministry need.

    While I am available at all hours to take calls, our pastoral staff only take emergency ministry calls after hours through our helpline. This isn't to create layers upon layers between us and the membership, but it is to make sure we can take care of the significant matters of ministry as they are needed and are timely.
     
  15. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    15,646
    Likes Received:
    223
    No...........
     
  16. SaggyWoman

    SaggyWoman
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2000
    Messages:
    17,933
    Likes Received:
    8
    One I know keeps Office Hours--well, he comes into the office. Not sure how open he is to talking to anyone who walks in.

    Another pastor has the office staff have office hours. If he is not in, they can contact by phone.
     
  17. Alcott

    Alcott
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Messages:
    7,454
    Likes Received:
    93
    Should a pastor hold office hours at the church office?

    Sounds better than holding them at the nearest Buffalo Wild Wings.
     
  18. padredurand

    padredurand
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Messages:
    4,384
    Likes Received:
    20
    That's exactly where he should be holding them. Or at the local coffee shop, truck stop, repair shop, hardware store, or any other place where the people are.
     
  19. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    15,646
    Likes Received:
    223
    'Zactly. :type:
     
  20. Alcott

    Alcott
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Messages:
    7,454
    Likes Received:
    93
    Then Yes or No: Do you hold office hours at a coffee shop and/or a truck stop and/or a hardware store?
     

Share This Page

Loading...