Ministry is a Nutty Job*

“You only work an hour on Sunday!”

I’ve heard variations of that phrase since the beginnings of my ministry. A generous version of it is, “Hey, pastor, you just work one day a week.”

An hour! One day! Folks worship on Sunday (likely their day off) and there’s the preacher! An hour or so later, they are headed home and the preacher’s “job” is done!

When I was younger, just starting out in ministry, that phrase could really rattle my cage. I remember being in the middle of a walnut grove, picking up zillions of walnuts for a youth group fund raiser, and hearing a parent from that youth group “adventure” gleefully chortle: “Hey Larry, what a cushy job you have, you only work an hour a week!”

I forced a smile, grumbled something, and kept shoving nuts into a bottomless bag. Inside, I fumed! My muscles ached. My fingers were stained from walnut hulls. There I was, in the middle of some stranger’s property, hours from home, with a bunch of youth and their parents, picking an eternity of walnuts! Grrrr! Continue reading →