In a recent post, I noted the ten things pastors liked least about their jobs. Many of you responded via the post and Twitter with a great deal of affirmation. Some of you were relieved that you weren't alone in those least liked areas.
In today's post, I look at the positive side of being a pastor. Most of these leaders love their work and the churches they serve. So I took to the Twitterverse again with my poll question asking pastors what they like most about their work. Here are their top ten responses.
1. Seeing lives transformed. This response was an overwhelming number one. You could almost feel the enthusiasm for this aspect of their ministry as they responded. These pastors feel that God call them to lead toward transformation of others, and seeing that happen is their greatest joy in ministry.
2. Preaching. Frankly, I expected this response to be number one, but it was a distant second. Preaching is very important to these pastors, but transformed lives are the most important. Of course, some of them noted that preaching transforms lives.
3. Personal evangelism. Though distant to number one, sharing the gospel one-on-one was a clear number three. Here is a fascinating facet of this study to me: Over 85 percent of the pastors named one of these first three as their response. The next eight were named by less than 15 percent of the pastors.
4. The people/members. There is little doubt that these pastors love their churches and thus the members. Many of them exuded joy just by writing about the church members.
5. Developing new relationships. These pastors include a number of extroverts who really like to meet new people. We introverts don't understand.
6. Ministering in the community. It was a joy to hear a number of pastors express intense love for the community where their church is located. I can only imagine their ministries are bearing much fruit.
7. Ministering to members. Though similar to number four, the pastors sometimes explicitly mentioned ministering to church members in times of need.
8. Casting a vision. The only surprise to me at this response was how low it ranked among pastors. I thought I would hear leading and vision-casting as a response near the top.
9. Staff relationships. Not all pastors have other ministry staff serving alongside them, but a few of them did express gratitude for those who do.
10. Mentoring or discipling one-on-one. This response was not a surprise except for how few pastors mentioned it. Since the first three responses dominated the poll, number 10 was almost an afterthought.
I would love to hear more from pastors about what they love about being a pastor. And I would welcome any comments from church members about what they appreciate most about their pastors.