This spring I am taking a personal blogging hiatus and have invited some folks to blog in my stead. It is my intention help share some new voices and perspectives with a larger audience and keep my blog active during my break. If you are interested in guest blogging, feel free to submit an idea. Today Ed Dunn offers another post to the guest blogger collection. Ed is the Presbytery Executive for the Presbytery of Boise and a dreamer of great things for the Presbyterian Church (USA). He is a husband and a dad who sees a great future in the hearts and minds of the next generation.
The old joke/jab that pastors often hear is that we “really only work one day a week.” To those outside or with only a casual knowledge of church it may seem very true. After all, to the casual observer, the greatest visibility for ministers is during worship on Sunday. Those who know more about the workings of ministry would beg to differ.
Ask the pastor’s family. They are the folks who routinely get to see their loved one between meetings and hospital calls. They pray for the opportunity to have an uninterrupted Saturday since it is the only weekend day that they might spend together. When classmates talk about trips during school holidays at Christmas and Easter, the children of pastors sigh because those are work weeks for their parent(s).
Most “blessed” are the children with 2 pastor parents!
So, it’s Holy Week and for many of you it will be a routine week at work or home including extra worship services on Thursday and Friday. It will be the same for your pastor, only harder.
During this week, your pastor may have several meetings – both daytime and evening – to attend or lead. Your pastor will receive phone calls about everything from “a quick survey about the use of technology in your office” to questions such as “when would you like to have the Easter lilies delivered?” to “will you come and pray with my grandmother who is dying?”
It’s Holy Week and your pastor will attend to the needs of his/her family. There will be dinner to prepare and homework to finish. Life’s dramas will play in the home of your pastor. Meanwhile, the pastor will attend to the needs of the church family. There will be as many as a half-dozen different services to plan and prepare. Your pastor will be making hospital visits or home visits to those who need a word of comfort or prayer.
It’s Holy Week and your pastor will be preparing sermons. “What?” you ask! The story is the same one every year. Yes, the scripture tells the same story and the heart of the message will be the same. You, however, are different. Things have happened in your life and the world since last year or the last time you heard the Easter story. Your pastor is aware of those changes in the congregation and in the world, therefore it is necessary to write something encouraging and inspiring that affirms or renews hope for a new day.
It’s Holy Week, and by Sunday morning when you arrive at the church building wearing your Easter finery your pastor will be there to greet you. The smile on the pastor’s face is an honest expression of joy that you have come to worship. It is a smile produced by a pastor’s adrenaline rush on that day. It is a smile that belies the grace filled and gracious accomplishment of the tasks leading up to the Easter celebration. It may be a smile that acknowledges that tomorrow is a well-deserved day off.
Please keep your pastor in prayer this week!
It’s Holy Week, do you know where your pastor is?