Being a minister is not usually one’s chosen career path. Rather, through divine inspiration, the job is chosen for you. So many make being a pastor seem easy. They have thousands in their church and roll up in a shiny, expensive car without a care in the world. However, that is a façade. If you are considering becoming a minister, here are five things you need to keep in mind.
According to Salarylist.com, the average salary for a minister is around $30,000. A minimum wage job, working 40 hours per week, will bring home a salary of $16, 640. So, you should know that you are not going to get rich preaching the gospel. In fact, you may find that your money is rather tight most of the time. Many pastors take on second jobs too. While some churches give a housing steepen or parish to live in that helps compensate, it still is not near enough money to live comfortably. To be a minister, you must be more in love with a higher calling than the paycheck.
If you think that you will preach on Sunday and have the rest of the week off, then you need to think again. People will expect you to be on call 24/7. They will show up at your house, ring your phone off the hook, and expect you to keep regular business hours. There will be deaths, weddings, births, and all sorts of things to call and talk with you about. Don’t forget those 2 am crisis calls when someone is on the verge of a breakdown. Being a pastor can cause a lot of problems between you and your family. You must learn to budget your time accordingly. You must set boundaries, and make sure that your people follow them. A good minister learns to allocate their time wisely.
Many ministers feel a great deal of pressure in their jobs. There is always the church down the street that is running bigger numbers. There are family members threatening to leave. As soon as you get one family calmed down, another one will start. It is a never-ending drama fest that will overwhelm you. If only preaching the word was all the job required, then the job would be easy. You must learn to love people as Christ loved the church. You must look beyond the saint’s faults, and be willing to see the true potential in each one. People will question you, mock you, hate you, love you, and drive you crazy. Then there is also being accountable for souls that can really pack on the pressure. Don’t fool yourself into thinking ministry is smooth sailing.
If you are a person that needs to have the acceptance others, you might want to choose a different career path. Being a minister means that you must often guide people on the right path. It usually isn’t those who are on the right path that causes the problems, but it is the ones on the wrong path that tend to squawk the most. Remember, not everyone will like you. Some will hate you, but they continue to go to church because of family, friends, and history. It’s not a popularity contest.
As previously discussed, saints expect their pastor to be on call 24/7. Taking a sick day or vacation time may be difficult too. Remember, the pastor is expected to be at all the church events. They expect you to be there whenever they need you. Some pastors find that even on vacation people are tracking them down. You cannot go to the grocery store in peace, and you will find that taking a day off is worthless. Even if you are sick in bed, people will want to come and bestow gifts on you to help you improve. Your life is no longer your own.
While the five things to consider when becoming a minister are certainly eye opening, there are some amazing parts too. You will get gifts, showered with love, and develop a meaningful relationship with people. Sure, there are some things to be concerned with when choosing this career path, but the good always outshines the bad.
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