Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hard Work from behind the Desk

Full disclosure: If I weren't writing this blog right now, I'd be reading online articles about the Cleveland Browns. Or I'd be striking a horizontal position on the futon next to me. I want sleep. I want to slack. It's the perennial, post-lunch problem for solo pastors and desk jockeys.

But I cannot sleep or slack today because I preached against sloth on Sunday. Solmon's advice echoes in my ear: Go the ant; see how they work hard! (Proverbs 6:6-11). Or maybe that's just the sound of Judy Rogers.

Proverbs forced me to look my sloth in the face. I know churches that require their pastors to work 50-55 hours a week. According to a recent Gallup Poll, the average work-week in America is 47. I can't compete with these pastors. My typical work week rarely eclipses 45 hours. In this case, though, I'm happily below average.

For more on sloth and the Christian life, see the notes:

What drives me is not hours invested, but impact.
  • Does the time I spend in sermon preparation simply organize thoughts, or does it edify people? 
  • Does my leadership simply ensure tasks are done, or does it empower and equip people? 
  • Do my short and long-range plans simply fill the calendar, or do they position our church to give witness to the wonderful love of Jesus? 
  • Do God and my church need 50+ hours in clerical robes to maximize my impact?
  • Do the short-term gains of busyness justify the long-term loss of energy and exuberance?

These are tough questions to consider. Too tough. I think I'll take that nap after all.

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