Ministry: Long Hours, Little Pay, Great Retirement
By Jarrod Spencer –
People will sometimes ask me what made me choose to begin a career in ministry. I may disappoint some when I don’t have this eureka-like experience of feeling “called” to this position.
I didn’t have ministry on my radar at all growing up. I fell in love with the work of the manager/trainer in high school. I started out as the “water boy” type of person. Just your typical freshman who was the errand boy and carried the equipment out to practice and games, along with making sure there was water for the players. I was pretty much the bottom of the barrel in the way of popularity and respect. However, there was something about it that I greatly enjoyed. My pursuit of this career took me through college and two years as a professional trainer at a community college.
Somewhere during my last year and a half of college and my two years in the profession of being an athletic trainer and instructor, my focus started to shift toward ministry. It piqued my interest and I gathered some advice. Soon, I decided to go into something I never thought I would be even remotely interested in pursuing.
It didn’t take long to realize that I love ministry. As a person who has several talents, ministry has allowed me to use those talents to touch the lives of many people.
As you can see, there really was no “Aha!” moment, but rather the idea of ministry came through influence and something inside of me that seemed to click with the profession. One thing that I have always had a difficult time doing is fitting into a “box” when it came to ministry.
I did not want to have the stigma that was attached to ministers. I have always liked to be real and approachable. I want people to still be themselves even when a “preacher” is around. I love the opportunities that have come about through being in ministry to help people. These are some of the priceless moments.
A few years back, a church was looking for a minster and listed the following phrases in their job opening: “long hours, little pay, great retirement benefits.” They were being lighthearted with their advertising, but for most of us who work in ministry, this holds true.
Most don’t realize how much goes on in a minister’s life. It is generally not a physically laborious position, but there is a lot that goes into the mental side of things. We are always “on duty” in the eye of the public. We must be wary of the way we conduct ourselves for threat of rumor that can dampen our influence. We are not done at 5:00 PM, for someone can call us at a moment’s notice. We try to please everyone.
Some even think we work for them instead of Him.
Each minister or pastor has their various passions. Each has their own delivery style. Each one is different. However, this is important; each minister has feelings and runs out of steam once in a while. I hope you take the time to embrace and encourage your minister throughout the year. You have no idea of all that happens behind the scenes.
Let’s appreciate those who serve us!
PRAYER: Father, thank You for all the opportunities I have had to serve others in the way of ministry. I appreciate You so much for giving me the opportunity.
“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28 NIV).