Preaching is very hard work…if you don’t believe me, just ask them. Someone has said that preachers write the equivalent of three full-length novels a year. That he only works on Sunday is an ignorant and ridiculous myth. I know a former preacher who is now president of a university who says preaching is the hardest work he has ever done. In spite of that fact, it can be a wonderful, meaningful and fulfilling life. And, given the right circumstances, a preacher can work with the same congregation for a long time. My preacher has been with our congregation for nearly 30 years!
Here are some reasons why preachers keep preaching and stay with the same congregation for a long time.
- He feels assured that he is an esteemed part of a team that includes elders, deacons, staff and dedicated, committed members.
- He is supported at a level that enables him to pay his bills have medical insurance for his family and put aside something for his retirement.
- He has friends with whom he can safely confide and who affirm him, encourage him and pray for him.
- His experience and knowledge are valued and utilized by the leaders and workers. He is looked upon as a mentor.
- The leaders never use their power over his income to threaten or intimidate him into compliance with their opinions. He is given the freedom to preach the word without fear of being terminated for telling the truth.
- He is given the time and resources to preach to the lost and not just to the saved.
- He is given opportunity to be spiritually fed and re-energized by furthering his education, attending seminars and taking spiritual retreats and sabbaticals.
- He is not placed on a pedestal above the other members, given some “title” and expected to be a spiritual superman.
- He is allowed plenty of quality time to be with his family instead of being overwhelmed with the demands of the members.
- He is passionate about his work and addicted to seeing the light come on in people’s eyes when he proclaims the love, grace, peace, hope and mercy of God and they get it.
I also wanted to say something about being allowed to write and publish (if that is one of his gifts), speak in other venues, not being held responsible for matters over which he has no influence or control and how he takes the time to read the word for his own edification (not to prepare a lesson) and pray and fast. But that would be more than ten, wouldn’t it?