An Open Look at the Pros and Cons of Being a Minister
I’ve been a minister (full or part time) for roughly 6 years or so now. In that time, I’ve been preaching, helping with youth, teaching classes, leading devotionals, planning events, counseling, visiting, helping those in need, evangelizing, and leading worship singing. My dad always worked at his job 40-55 hours a week, but he also always found time to make sure he helped the church with all the things I mentioned above for FREE. He taught me how to prioritize church above anything in the world from work, to family, to hobbies, and especially band and sports. God and His family is number one ALWAYS. NO excuses! I count it an honor to be a minister. But if I’m being honest, there are some days that it is so stressful that I’d almost rather be working at BK or Mickey D’s and living in a tent. However, if I continue in my honesty, I would have to admit that I’m the luckiest guy in the world. It certainly is a bittersweet job, but I love it all the same. Let me give you some examples of some pros and cons in the life of a minister so you can better understand who I am and what I do.
We will start with the cons. 1) Coming up with something to talk about for classes and sermons that will apply to EVERYONE and making sure to say it in a way that EVERYONE can get something from the lessons. Everyone is going through different things and coming from different backgrounds, so this is hard. 2) Having an unfair pedestal that some in the congregation subconsciously expect you to stand on. Things that I do wrong, I am harshly judged for more than the average person. And things that I may be free to do according to God’s will, I can’t always do because someone else has a made-up opinion that said things are wrong for a preacher to do. There are certainly times when it feels like chains are around me because of things like this. People are sometimes quick to forget that I’m only human. 3) People assuming that all I do is write a quick lesson and show up to funerals. A preacher studies hours for his lessons, he visits, writes cards, mediates and prays for the congregation, meets with other preachers for ideas and guidance, writes articles, goes to the hospital, and the list goes on. It is a full-time job. It is a 24/7 job. Most jobs have a clock out time. Not this one.
Now the pros. 1) There is nothing more fulfilling in the world than the moments I see someone really know Jesus. When I’m evangelizing, visiting, or teaching, I can tell the moments when the light hits them. It is worth any heartache of whatever con I face. 2) Knowing the stories of the congregation. I get to hear your stories and find out who you are. I have a second family who loves me dearly. It is worth any heartache. I know what the saddest moments of your life is as well as the happiest. And that love for one another never fails because even when we make mistakes and hurt one another, there is never-ending grace! 3) Having the privilege to study deep in God’s word all the time, lead His people, and have a home with Him when this world is over. Like any job, there are hardships and stress. It is unfair at times. It is overwhelming at times. It feels like pulling teeth at times. But unlike other jobs, the people I work for are also children of God. And at the end of the day, my job is just an extension of the job of ALL Christians, and God is the boss! So, when I lay my head down at night, I can always say, “I am blessed to be a minister!” – Jesse