Come on. Admit it. You’ve wondered this yourself. Unless you are a Pastor, or related to one. Then you roll your eyes at these kinds of comments.
If you think about it, it’s really a natural comment for anyone to ask of any profession that is not their own. For example, I don’t REALLY know what brain surgeons do. Yes, they do surgery on brains, but I’m sure there’s much more to it of which I’m completely unaware. I’m not aware of the strain that the necessarily-flexible schedule can be on his life and family. I’m not aware of the diligence with which he has to maintain his education, learning the newest and best techniques continually. I’m not aware of a ton. I admit it. I’m sure there are brain surgeons all over the world who have just stopped rolling their eyes and are glad to hear that someone understands (tongue firmly in cheek).
But back to it… what DO Pastors really do? It’s a question asked by those who are curious, at the best end of the scale, or by those who are suspicious and/or pessimistic on the negative end of the same scale. Pastors live interesting lives… as “employees” of the local church (a term I very much dislike… but don’t know of a better alternative), and as “members” of the church family. They have responsibilities and the need to be accountable for those responsibilities, but also need the trust and freedom of a loving church family that enables them to have a flexible schedule in order to make snap decisions with the wisdom that God provides, meet needs that arise instantaneously, and still remain balanced and healthy in their relationship with their families.
What do Pastors really do? Hmmmmm…. what DON’T they do? Well, brain surgery for one…
Here’s an article that I came across that is very helpful in thinking about this issue. I think I’ll probably write more on the issue in the future as well (my wheels are turning as we speak… ouch).