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Why Pastors Never Have Enough Time

This isn’t being burdened to reach the lost or being passionate about your calling. It’s a roadmap to burnout.

#3 – We Have an Unrealistic Job Description.

For many pastors, clarity is muddy from the beginning, starting with the job description.

I wrote about this in Streamline.

“The other day I read a job description for a part-time bookkeeper, receptionist and preschool director. All one part-time job! That seems like a pretty particular skill set. “We need you to be great with kids and a preschool educational background would be best, but we also need you to understand General Accounting Practices and you must have three years of experience with QuickBooks.”

Then, there are the qualifications. I’m not sure the Apostle Paul would be qualified to be the student pastor at a 45-member church based on some of the job postings I’ve seen.

I’m all for encouraging a “get it done no matter what” mentality among your team, but you can’t ask everyone to do everything and expect anything to be done with excellence.

We give pastors a menu of ministries to lead and a wide range of responsibilities. Is there any wonder people don’t know what’s most important? Is there any question as to why we have trouble providing effective evaluation?

Job descriptions filled with hopes and wishes are silly. Effective job descriptions need to reflect reality.

When you look at your own job description, is it realistic? If not, perhaps you need to have a conversation with the Elders (or the person or group of people who hired you). It’s not about doing less work, it’s about being effective in ministry.

What should actually go on a pastor’s job description? Read this post and download the free guide.

#4 – There’s a Lack of Thinking or Planning.

Some of the suggestions in this article might involve people outside of your control. For example, maybe your job description is unrealistic, but outside of quitting and finding a new job, it’s the way it is for now.

Maybe there are outside forces preventing you from cutting some of the ministry menu at this time.

While you’re waiting on the Lord for something to happen, there is something you can do now.

It will take a little time but I know it will help.

There’s something ironic or ridiculous about suggesting something that takes time in an article about why you don’t have enough time. I feel like the guy at the lawn and garden center who says the best solution to eliminating weeds in the front yard is to have a strong and healthy lawn in the first place.

But I promise a little more time spent on this will give you a lot more time to spend on that.

I’m talking about carving out a little time to spend on planning and thinking.

Just a little bit of time spent thinking or planning can increase effectiveness by a factor of ten. Think about this like the mental equivalent of sharpening the axe.

If you’ve got 30 minutes to write an email to the congregation, spend the first 20 percent of your time simply planning what to write. Get a halfway decent outline and the rest will not only be easier, it will be better.

If you’ve got three hours to write a sermon, don’t simply open the commentary or start writing. First pray, then prayerfully plan.

Don’t just dive into the work…plan your work. It will be so much better. Proper planning multiplies results.

That’s one reason I spend about 20-30 minutes on Sunday nights doing this little exercise. It’s a simple tool that lets me look back on the previous week and look ahead to the next week. Watch the short video to learn the exercise and download the PDF below.

How I Prepare for My Week from Church Fuel on Vimeo.

This Sunday night review is my version of thinking and planning.

It makes my work time far more effective.

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