All the time
Do you know what I forget sometimes? I forget that not everyone’s life revolves around the church. Conversely, I’ll bet a lot of people don’t even realize that most pastors’ live do. Revolve around the church, that is.
Here’s what I mean. An average member of the church who attends say twice a month, may only actually think about the church a couple of hours on those two days. That’s it. Another member of the church, who serves on a committee, is a member of a small group, are part of a music group or participates in a community ministry may think about church a couple of hours each week. Some in positions of leadership may spend as much as 3-4 hours a week with church responsibilities. If you have a job and a family, I wouldn’t expect much more.
Enter the pastor. I think about the church every day. I think about the church most of my waking hours. I’m not always doing church stuff, but even when I’m not, I’ve got sermon thoughts running around in my head, I’ve got people on my mind who I need to talk to or visit, and I’m always wondering how those in the hospital or recovering at home are doing.
I’m not saying this is bad. After all, it is my job and it’s not yours. I just think the extremes are interesting. There was a time when I wasn’t a pastor and wasn’t thinking about church all the time, but that was a long time ago. It’s hard to remember. And those outside the role (and the family) have no idea what it’s like to be immersed in it all the time.
Wouldn’t it be interesting (and probably healthy) to walk in each other’s shoes once in a while?