I am interested in your thoughts concerning this article by Mike Niebauer at The Gospel Coalition and the comments that follow. In light of 1 Timothy 5:17-18, what do you think of Paul’s use of the word labor in regards to ministry of teaching and preaching? Is it legit?
Labor: κοπιάωa; κόποςa, ου m: to engage in hard work, implying difficulties and trouble—‘hard work, toil, to work hard, to toil, to labor.’ κοπιάωa : δἰ ὅλης νυκτὸς κοπιάσαντες οὐδὲν ἐλάβομεν ‘we worked hard all night long and caught nothing’ Lk 5:5. (Louw-Nida)
I almost thought you found a real picture of me…
AND THEN I REALIZED THAT I NEVER WEAR SUITS!!!!
ha ha ha
I think being a pastor is hard work. How many jobs require their employees to be on call 24/7? Most people put in their 40 hours a week and clock out.
I know plenty of bi-vocational pastors who work a full-time job to support their family & then still shepherd the flock & prepare a sermon each Sunday (and midweek services too in some cases). That’s labor intensive, especially when you can get a call about a member’s needs at any hour. Even those who get paid to be pastors put in more work than most “normal” people do.
Nevertheless, the emotional and spiritual toll that it takes is intense all on its own. I’ve never pastored a church, but having been in training to be a pastor for a number of years, I can relate to the burden that is carried.
Hey, I appreciate you comments LaRosa. “Nevertheless, the emotional and spiritual toll that it takes is intense all on its own.” Good point! I am praying right now that your training is solid brother. So you walk into the specific challenges of pastoring well equipped.
I think there are a lot of unique challenges and responsibilities associated with pastoring. I can’t say it’s necessarily harder than other vocations. Yes, maybe it’s not 9-5 but then I have people in my church who own businesses and farm who are always on call as well. The thing I got out of this article, is that we, pastors have to stop feeling sorry for ourselves like we have so rough. Somehow this sounds a lot better coming from this author than from a member of my church who can’t figure out what I do during the week.
I personally found his article almost silly. But then I remembered that when discussing the role of pastors, it’s not “apples to apples” but often “apples to oranges.” There are a lot of pastors who basically just preach. In fact, I know many who have that as their only responsibility…
Others, especially in small town and rural churches, do far more than just preach….
So discussions like this are good… though I find his article without enough nuance.
Haha, yeah so true Dave.The comments from the article were pretty crazy. The article seemed to embolden those people who can’t seem to figure out what we do.
Yup that’s a great way to put it Luke. Good article without enough nuance I think some of the crazy comments reflected that.
The article was actually kind of embarrassing, in that it was published without really considering some pretty significant differences between different pastors. Plus, my observation of pastors in the majority world (i.e., not the U.S.) is that they work ten times more than a lot of pastors I see, including myself!!!!