Or: This Time it's Personal
I have some expectations for myself as a pastor. They might or might not measure up to others' expectations (or even to those as related in the Discipline). I think I had some misguided expectations when I went into Seminary (and they were squashed when I had a book stolen off the book sale table or when I participated in (or watched) intramural basketball games or when I saw a fellow student playing games on his laptop in the middle of class), and I don't think that all of my expectations are completely realistic yet.
Anyway, here are some of them:
- Self-care is vitally important to a pastor. It's kind of like the instructions they give us on an airplane: If the cabin looses presure, affix your own air mask first, then assist others with theirs. It's pretty simple; if I'm not attending to myself, I can't attend to others effectively.
- Priorities are key. I have these priorities: #1 is God. #2 is my family. The church is #3.
- My day off is mine. If God took a Sabbath and commanded (not suggested) it, I deserve at least a day off. I won't be working 60 hours per week. That's just not healthy.
- A pastor can't always be alone. This is a tough one. In so many ways, this is a lonely way of life, and I will always be an "outsider." This means I have to work harder to develop meaningful relationships, especially as an extrovert who needs to get out sometimes.
- A pastor needs to cultivate relationships with non-Christians. If I'm not doing it, why should I think that my congregation will?
- I'll do the best I can, but I'm neither Superman nor Jesus.
- The expectations the church has for me will not trump the above.
What do you think? Are these fair? Do I need to add to them? Subtract from them?