Ten Things Pastors Like About Pastoring

In a previous post, I noted ten things pastors don't like about pastoring. Though my surveys are not scientific, they do seem to have spoken to several pastors and other church leaders. The responses were fascinating.

I took the same approach for this post, but this time the responses were positive. We wanted to know what pastors like about their ministry. Here are their top ten responses listed in reverse order, followed by a comment from a representative pastor.

10. Counseling. "I really like helping people by counseling them. My masters degree at seminary focused on counseling, so I feel equipped to help all but the most serious needs." (Interestingly, this one item was the only one that appeared on both the "like" and "don't like" list.)

9. Funerals. "It seems to me that people are more receptive to the gospel and other important Christian matters at funerals. I think that they get an idea about how brief life is, so they really listen to the message and they are tuned in the entire service."

8. Casting a vision. "I love most aspects of leadership in the local church. A major part of that is helping define a preferred future for the church. I spend a lot of my time working with key leaders to see where God is leading us toward His future."

7. Leading international mission trips. "It is absolutely amazing to see how our members have a whole new perspective on life and ministry when we go on a mission trip. We actually travel the Amazon and get involved in places where few people go. It has become life-changing for so many of our members."

6. Ministering in the community. "I prayed that God would give me a love for the community when I became pastor and He did. One of the things I enjoy most is getting involved in our community and ministering to the people."

5. Teaching. "When I get the opportunity to teach, I really get fired up. I teach a small group several weeks out of the year. I find myself eagerly anticipating each time I get to teach, regardless of the number of people."

4. Sharing the gospel. "One of the things that amazes me is how many people actually come to me asking me questions about heaven, hell, and other eternal matters. I am able to share the gospel almost every week. I don't understand how some churches have zero conversions each year. People show up in my office asking questions about the gospel."

3. Studying the Bible. "I am so blessed. I have a job where I'm supposed to spend time every week studying the Bible. Whether I'm preparing a sermon, a funeral message, or a Sunday school lesson, I get to study the Bible. I love it!"

2. Mentoring/discipling one-on-one. "After twenty-seven years of ministry, one of the most rewarding things for me is to see people I have discipled making a difference for Jesus. I love to take someone under my wing one-on-one for a year or so. Many of them are now pastors, missionaries, and strong Christian businessmen."

1. Preaching. "My sense of God's call to ministry was a call to preach. It's still what I love to do more than anything. There is nothing that energizes me more than preaching."

Pastors will typically find joy when they are involved in these ten activities. Conversely, pastors can become greatly frustrated if other demands of ministry keep them from doing these things that bring them great joy.

What do you think of this list? What would you add?

Dr. Thom Rainer is president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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