I absolutely love my job! I can’t imagine doing anything differently with my life. If I had a thousand lives to live, to be whatever I wanted to be, I believe I’d spend them all doing the same thing — preaching the gospel (Well, I might waste one of them being the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers :-)). But my point is that I am in no way disgruntled or complaining.
However, through the years, I’ve had more than a few people ask me what the worst part of being a preacher is.
I’ve given thought to that question and am pretty sure that most people, at least those who aren’t preachers, would never guess the answer correctly. In fact, the answer to this question has probably never even crossed the minds of most people.
For me, the worst thing about being a preacher is not being able to be with your mother or father on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. These are “big” days for churches, with many visitors and opportunities, so the preacher needs to be present. In fact, I’ve only been able to spend Mother’s Day with my mother once in the past 38 years! I find that to be difficult. While Mother’s/Father’s Day is a time of reunion for most people, for the preacher, it’s generally a time of loneliness and longing to be able to be with family. While we stand before the congregation on these days and look out over the assembly, we see happy families sitting together; proud mothers and fathers and grateful children. When we see this, it’s not jealousy, but rather a wave of wistfulness that overtakes us.
Elders, would you like to give your preacher a gift that won’t cost you anything, and will mean the world to him? Go to him sometime and tell him to go home on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Tell him you’ll cover his responsibilities on that Sunday. You’ll never know how much that gift will mean to him.
Well, now that you know what the “worst thing about being a preacher is” (at least to me), was I right? Had the thought ever crossed your mind? Share your perspectives in the comments section.
(One of my concerns in writing this article was that I didn’t want anyone to conclude that my elders at Karns demand that I be present on these “special” Sundays. They don’t. In fact, the one time I got to visit my mother on Mother’s day was done with their encouragement. They have been more than supportive and understanding with respect to meeting my needs. However, not all elderships are in tune with their preacher’s needs, so my remarks are made in hopes of helping others to better understand).