Pastors: Can You Shed the Busy Badge of Honor?

It seems like pastors play the sympathy card too much. We talk a lot about how busy we are, how difficult our job is and how we’re always on call. A lot of statistics about burnout and stress levels get tossed around. I guess it’s all legit.

But how about a little perspective:

  • Your job’s tough, too. It probably comes with a lot of stress.
  • Of course I’m busy. So are you.
  • I have good weeks and bad. So do you.
  • Some weeks I work ridiculous hours. Most weeks I don’t.

Just like you, people often ask to spend time with me. More often than not it goes something like this:

“I’m so sorry to ask … I know you’re a pastor, and the church is growing, and you must be so busy all of the time … but do you think we could talk at some point?”

My job’s pretty incredible, actually! I largely set my own schedule and my own priorities. It has its ups and downs, but I’m doing what I love. The truth is, it’s probably a lot easier for me make that meeting work than it is for you.

A Badge of Honor

Busyness is a badge of honor in our culture. I used to feel proud of myself when my schedule got crazy. It made me feel important, like I was in high demand. Now I’m embarrassed by it. Extreme busyness most often indicates misaligned priorities, poor time management and an inflated sense of self-importance.

Maybe it shouldn’t be a badge of honor. Maybe we’d be better off making people think we do have time for them. Because we do. If we’re following the example of Jesus, we do.

  • Have you ever felt the need to apologize when asking for someone’s time?
  • Do you think the job of pastor gets put in a different category? Should it?
  • Do you think busyness is a badge of honor in our culture? Should it be? 
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Lead Pastor of the Maryville Vineyard, a growing church filled with incredible people in East Tennessee. He and his wife Sharon have two amazing children.

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