Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What do I do?

I was reading the "My Turn" column in Newsweek, where guests are allowed to write an article about nearly anything. This issue it was a philospher from Indiana who talked about how people misunderstand philosphers and what they do -- namely think (and write). I was thinking about the times that people (some joking, some not-so-much) have accused me, and almost every pastor I know, of working for 1 hour every week. I don't usually feel the need to defend myself -- what I do, I do faithfully, or unfaithfully before God, and on my better days I don't really care what people perceive. But at other times, I wish people could follow me around for a couple of weeks and get a feel for things. Most people severely underestimate the time it takes to prep a message, or deal with people and their crises. And while they expect us to have a quick answer for everything, they don't understand the amount of time that must be spent studying...and thinking...and praying. And that's not even beginning to talk about administrative details, planning, and strategizing about the best way to do ministry. There are perks...I do control my own schedule -- and if I want to spend extra time at lunch meeting with someone, I can. And I'm not complaining. I'm only saying, that I wish people could understand. Or better yet...I wish that some people were more gracious and would give you the benefit of the doubt.

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