Pastoring has it’s challenges. Without a doubt, it can be overwhelming at times, but also filled with joy and fulfillment, most times. While I agree with Thom S. Rainer’s recent post, “Ten Reasons It is more Difficult to be a Pastor Today” (Click here to read it), I offer another perspective. Although these ten reasons are true and many a reality, some, not so much in healthy situations. Leaving it on that note (a little negative and discouraging), does not do the wonderful work of pastoring justice. I have given my own thoughts on why it rocks to be a pastor today.
Eleven Reasons Why it’s Easier Being a Pastor Today
- The Advent of Social media. It has become an arm of communication never matched by the old church’s monthly newsletter. Used with wisdom, we can encourage and influence more people toward Christ. Harness and use it and train your people to use it as an arsenal of communication and Christ-like encouragement.
- The Culture. While there are more “nones,” or people with no affiliation to any religion, this creates an amazing opportunity for evangelism.
- Podcast Pastors. I used to relish the thought of going to conferences and hearing my favorite authors. Now I can listen to podcasts. I can learn at a breath-taking pace from some of the best teachers and leaders in the world.
- We have more business savvy. Being forced to have an understanding of business, budgets, and banks is a good thing to a point, but this helps us surround ourselves with people and leaders that we can delegate these things to.
- Print is amazing. No longer do we have to depend on the local printer for marketing or any graphics. Most churches and pastors with a laptop can produce professional looking graphics to enhance ministry.
- Generational Blending. Any leader knows that generational blending in the church is so healthy and positive. If leaders see the generational diversity as a gift and as the Bible teaches, then conflict among generations will be non-existent or minimal.
- More paid pastors. There are more pastors being paid now, even part-time, than ever before in the American context. That is a plus and does makes things easier. I recognize the tension of bi-vocational ministry. When planting here in Temperance, MI, I was bi-vocational for 3 years, I then became full-time. Although not really full-time salary, I knew that for the Kingdom, sacrifice would be made, and if the church grew, my leaders would increase my salary.
- Pastors are staying longer. Because communities and churches are diverse, when a pastor has a good “match,” they stay longer. I never remember pastors being places 20-25 years. Now that is still not the norm, but more common than it used to be.
- Churches are more pastor-driven. The old model of churches being board-driven is becoming more rare. If you are at a pastor-driven church with a board’s trust and respect, there is great liberty for so many things God can do. A board is a gift and will love and support their pastor, and govern with effectiveness. We can really do things that God has called us to, set our schedule, be flexible, and run with the calling the Lord has given us.
- Support. We have more support. There is no long-distance calls anymore. We all have unlimited talking and text and can connect with our colleagues for encouragement and resourcing like never before. No pastor should live in loneliness. We have the tools, and we can sculpt our schedules to reach out to others for prayer, meeting, encouragement and resource sharing.
- We don’t have to wear suits!
What are your thoughts?