Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A 35 hour week?

How many hours a week should a pastor work? If you are going to be a pastor how many hours a week do you expect to work? If you already are a pastor, how many hours do you work on a weekly basis? If you are not in this category, what do you expect of your pastor, or what would your preference be?

Include hospital visits, meetings, sermon prep, Sunday services, the lot!

10 comments:

Dave Miers said...

i think that hours is a weird way of thinking.

a full-time paid pastor is someone who doesn't work in a job... but is freed up from work to be able to spend more time serving and equipping the people of God.

but for the sake of your argument.... i think it's reasonable to expect a pastor to work 60 hours. your average punter works 40 hours a week and then they are involved in a bible study and church on a sunday and maybe another ministry. so with their full-tim job and other stuff they are putting in 55 hours a week.

when i worked full-time for a church - i would have easily done 60 hours a week... 6 days a week 'work' it is easy to conceive of a 10hour day each day.

i'm sure it's different when you have kids etc...

but i don't like that whole 3 sections to the day thing... do you know the thing i'm talking about? there are 3 sections to the day...
1) breakfast to lunch
2) lunch to dinner
3) dinner to bed
they* say you should only work 2 of the 3 each day. i think this is dumb... and almost lazy.

anyway - i'm not being particularly coherent.

you rock the suburbs.

*i'm not sure who 'they' are!!

geoffc said...

It is a weird way of thinking, but it was for the sake of argument. In a 3rd year lecture they got the class to line-up from least to greatest amount of hours of what they thought they'd be working.

Thanks for your thoughts Dave. Hope the didn't scare off anyone who thought they'd work a 40 hour week as a pastor ;-)


you rock my suburb Dave. And 'they' are everywhere, and they're dressed and act like you and me. They're kind of like communists

Dave Miers said...

what was the range in the line up?

geoffc said...

Apparently the majority were going for the 40 hour week, and it went through to one guy, who was already a pastor, at 70+ hours a week.

Dave Miers said...

i'm not arguing for workaholism... but i think that's unrealistic and lazy.

geoffc said...

at best it is naive.

I think once I got to and above 55 hour mark, the work I would be doing would have to include my family a lot more.

Eg. Doing ministry together; visiting other families, evangelism and other community ministries.

Overworking at the families expense is my biggest concern. I'm happy to work a lot, I think most people are. But there are a lot of unhappy wives and neglected children out there.

Gordon Cheng said...

168 hours.

Some of it can be sleep, eating, time with family...

geoffc said...

well just make sure you get some rest then.

Dave Miers said...

Overworking at the families expense is my biggest concern. I'm happy to work a lot, I think most people are. But there are a lot of unhappy wives and neglected children out there.

yeah good call. i'm in no way arguing for that.

there are plenty of guys who have a good model. in a call to spiritual reformation by don carson he speaks about how he used to make sure that between 5 and 8pm every day he hung out with his family. did that mean he didn't work hard? no not at all... but he was deliberate in spending time with the fam. you get some good insights rom driscoll about how he ministers to his family.

i think (i think the apostle Paul agrees) that a minister who doesn't minister to his family is unfit for ministry.

168 hours.

Some of it can be sleep, eating, time with family...


amen!

Niki Hamilton said...

Hi! After some calculations, I realised that on an easy week, Craig will work 55. On a crazy week 62. Most weeks are closer to 62.
I haven't included friends time or time spent in the community here, just organised ministry hours, meetings etc.
From now till Christmas, weeks will be more like the 62 mark for sure, which I think makes it hard for families.
The happy medium for us is around the 58 mark. 2 nights a week at home would be awesome.
Maybe some ministers work 40 depending on their culture.
I would gladly allow Craig to work even longer hours (than 62) if we were entertaining at home rather than nights out for meetings, and of course, if Craig found that sustainable.
But fortunately, God has equipped us all differently to cope with various levels of busyness. I don't think I could say a certain number of hours a week is a lazy point. Some ppl would really struggle with even 40 if they're prone to taking on other's burdens, and maybe with the neediness of their people, and if the yoke is heavy etc. Everyone's personality and capacity is different,you know what I mean? I'd much prefer ministers to be able to work out their own pace and keep them supporting the flock for longer than them feeling like they're lazy and burning out fast.