• Loren Richmond Jr

Pastors, you gotta get yours



Pastors, you gotta get yours

It’s crude, rude, and perhaps a little sacrilegious—but it’s true.

If you’re a pastor, worship leader, or church employee, you need to look out for yourself.

Whatever your definition of “being in ministry” entails, even though I haven’t “been in ministry” that long, I’ve learned enough along the way to know this. You can’t expect your church to take care of you.

I don’t even mean that antagonistically.

Looking back on my relatively few years in ministry, most of my biggest regrets are things I did to myself and my family.

-Going on a youth group ski trip and having my wife and two year-old come along, only then leaving my wife to hang out all day in the cabins.

-Inviting my wife to attend the congregational meeting in which they’ll be discussing my job performance.

-Earning 4 weeks a year of vacation and only taking 2 weeks off over the course of 2 years.

If you’re a pastor or church leader (this can happen to volunteers too), you’re preconditioned to give and give and give of yourself because this is something you’re passionate about and most likely “called” to do.

But, you’ve got to take care of you.

Again, it’s not even that churches are callous, uncaring people who don’t give a flip about you or your family (although there are certainly plenty of those).

More often, the reality is that they’re just people going along in life, doing their own thing, working hard, and they just don’t think about you.

Not because they’re selfish, uncaring, or apathetic.

Life just happens.

I think it’s similar to many relationships.

Over time, the novelty of a relationship wears off and so do the fun surprises, spontaneous outings, and “just thinking of you” gifts.

Rather, life, jobs, finances, kids, responsibilities, stress, deadlines, bills, repairs, to-do lists, (you get the point) get in the way.

I’m not a relationships expert by any stretch, but when one partner starts taking time for themselves, “getting theirs,” rather than depending on the other for their own satisfaction, my sense is that the relationship improves.

I think the same is true in churches.

When pastors are overworked and undervalued, we become tired, cynical, and burnt out.

Rather than waiting around, getting bitter, being frustrated that no one is noticing, caring for us, or advocating for our needs—we just need to get ours.

And, I’d bet that when we do that, our own well-being will improve—and our relationship and “job performance” will improve.

Pastors, you gotta get yours.

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