If you have spent any time at my blog, you know that I devote a lot of my writings to local church matters in general, and to pastors specifically.
The world of the pastor is not unknown to me. I served as a lead pastor in four churches and, when I was a seminary dean, as an interim pastor in eight more churches. I also served as a church consultant for about 20 years before coming to LifeWay.
But it has been at this blog the past two years that I really feel like I know pastors more in breadth and depth than ever before. I hear from them in the comments of the posts. Others read my posts and leave comments at Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Some choose the privacy of direct messages on Twitter. They number in the thousands.
If you read my posts, you know I often like to do numerical lists. I will do so here, but I struggled to stop at 10. Perhaps I will continue the list later.
For now, here are 10 things I’ve learned about pastors in the past two years.
1. They truly sense God’s call in their lives.
It’s not just another job for them; it is, as one pastor told me, “an inescapable reality.”
2. They love their churches and the members.
The metaphor of “shepherd” is truly appropriate for these pastors. They care deeply for those they serve.
3. They work hard.
The typical workweek of these pastors is about 60 hours, a number I hope to verify in a future poll.
4. Many are hurting from conflict and hurtful church members.
Noted one pastor, “I hate that I find myself running from her, but every time I see her she blasts me!”
5. Most would like more practical training.
This quote was a common theme: “I feel prepared to study the Bible and theology; but I am still ill-prepared to deal with leadership issues, money and strategies.”