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5 Reasons I Love Being a Pastor

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I love being a pastor. Those are not words I would have expected to have written as a teenager or even during my early college years. I wanted to be an attorney—or maybe an artist. (Although, in third grade, I wanted to be an archaeologist.) But, at the beginning of my junior year at Union University, I had an encounter with God on a Wednesday night at the Pastor’s Bible Study at West Jackson Baptist Church that changed the trajectory of my life. I will never forget it. It was as real as any conversation I’ve ever had.

That night, I put my “yes” on the table and surrendered my life to whatever God wanted for me in ministry. At first, I didn’t think I’d be a pastor. I thought I might be a music minister (even though I don’t read music or play an instrument). I had sung a bunch in church, so maybe it would be that. If not, perhaps I would be some sort of discipleship or educational minister. I was just sure I would not be a pastor. That changed within a week. I surrendered to God’s call on my life to be a pastor—a preacher—and it’s been the best life I could have ever imagined.

I know times in our lives as pastors are sometimes hard and dark. We can experience the greatest of victories and the most devastating betrayals—often on the same day. Sometimes, we have to pinch pennies, rely on coupons, and thank God for breakfast at supper. We are often far away from family during the holidays and have to turn conferences into family vacations. Being a pastor certainly isn’t for sissies, but I love every minute of it.

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I could easily list more, but let me share with you five reasons I love being a pastor.

1. It Fulfills God’s Call on My Life

The call is where the joy and fulfillment come from. Out of all the people on the planet, God called me to be the pastor and preacher that I am. I didn’t choose this as a profession. I didn’t use this as a fallback when I couldn’t do something else. Being a pastor is what I believe God has called me to do and be. Once I settled this in my heart, all the other life questions became much easier. And when I lean into it, I feel more joy than I have ever experienced before. Is the ministry always happy? No, because happiness is determined by what happens to you. But there is a joy amid tragedies and triumphs that can’t be explained any other way than by saying, “God called me to this, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

2. I Have a Front Seat in Seeing God’s Kingdom Expand

Christians are all called to be personally involved in the Great Commission. That is a non-negotiable of the Christian life. The difference for me as a pastor is that I get to see it up close. I have a front seat to seeing God’s Kingdom expand as the church I serve and the people I lead grow and live on mission. There is nothing like preaching the gospel and seeing souls saved. There is nothing like seeing a young man I’ve been praying for and talking with give his life to Jesus and then start bringing his friends to Christ. Watching a young mother teach her children about Jesus and then seeing them surrender their lives to him and grow spiritually—there is nothing like it. Cheering for my pastor friends as they lead their churches well and watching them grow and be a blessing in our community is so encouraging. As a pastor, I have a front seat to watch and be involved in seeing God’s kingdom expand in my community and around the world. Awesome!

3. I Get To Serve the Lord With My Family

I grew up in a pastor’s family. My middle brother is an associate pastor, and my baby brother is an attorney who is faithful in his local church. We were blessed to be raised in a family that did ministry together. (We were at the church so much I can still tell you what the watered-down apple juice and little flower-shaped sugar cookies they served us in the children’s area at FBC Milan, Tennessee, taste like 40 years later.) Most nights, we were out with our dad or mom, visiting those who had visited the church, either telling them about the church or sharing the gospel with them. Now, I get to do that with my family. Our family doesn’t bifurcate our lives between family time and ministry time. We live our lives and do ministry together as a family. I’ve learned that if you pit your ministry against your family, your family will lose and they will grow bitter towards the church. Serving the Lord as a family brings a family together and builds a love for each other and the church.