The Pastor and his work ethic

A Pastor’s Reflections: Your Work Ethic

During my days in seminary I had a number of summer internships where I learned a some invaluable lessons. One that stands out prominently in my mind was the importance of maintaining a strong work ethic. My ministerial supervisor taught me this lesson, unfortunately, by setting a bad example. The church had its mid-week services and so my boss used this as a reason for him not to come into work until after lunch—he took the morning off. The reason behind this decision was that since he had to work in the evening for the mid-week programs, he would take the morning off. In his mind, he was still putting in his eight-hour day

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Chip Van Emmerik's picture

You know, that sounds like a pastor who never held a secular job. Pastors who think like this fail to realize that all the church goers who attend the service have also already put in their 8 hour day. Yet, they expect everyone else to attend and participate in the service, and they even ask some of these other working members to volunteer to serve in and lead parts of the ministry along with the pastor. I was very fortunate in this sense. My dad was self employed all the years I was growing up, so I learned a strong work ethic as a child. Then, my Paul, who was my first pastor when I entered vocational ministry was an excellent example of work ethic in the ministry who helped me understand that ministry was work too! (Of course, that doesn't negate all the other baggage that I carried into ministry)

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jim's picture

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:
... all the church goers who attend the service have also already put in their 8 hour day. 

I wish I worked an 8 hour day! Leave home at 7:25 (earlier on snow days) .. arrive home at 6:05 or so. I eat lunch at my desk while I am on a call (except every other Tuesday when I take a real lunch break); On-call. Weekend installs ... et cetera. Something not completed - work on the weekend to catch up. This week (except Friday) my wife had to be at work every day at 7:30 (at the desk and logged on .... not 'walking in' at 7:30). I do work from home on Friday which is basically an 8-4 or 4:30 day.

 

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

I agree Jim, I was making a general point. I'm a teacher who is also in grad school, so I am in the same boat.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Andrew K.'s picture

I'm a teacher as well, who has had a number of factory/farm type jobs all through high school and college.

I appreciate the mental stimulation of my current vocation, but in many ways the farm labor work was far, far easier: 8-hour days (except during harvest), and then you go home and leave the job behind you. As a teacher, I feel like I can never escape the dark cloud of marking, planning, etc. until the summer; a cloud which makes demands far beyond the confines of an 8-hour day. Often even summer doesn't provide enough of a respite.

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