Being a Minister

 

This is me in clerical garb getting ready to go and do a wedding yesterday. It’s been a very busy few days getting to know the families and making all sorts of arrangements.

When people think about a Minister’s job, they imagine that Sunday services are the main part of it, they forget about all the other things that are added in during the week.

A Minister in a parish is kept busy with all sorts of things

  • Weddings, Funerals, Baptisms
  • Maintaining a prayer/spiritual life (talking with God)
  • Organising education for adults and children
  • Visiting people in hospital
  • Visiting people at home
  • Taking part in local organisation of the church
  • Meetings, meetings, meetings
  • School chaplaincy
  • Preparation for worship
  • Encouraging other people to get involved
  • Helping others to oversee finances
  • Helping to look after buildings
  • Writing articles for newspapers and magazines
  • Being involved in local radio
  • Probably doing lots of printing

It’s a very busy and active life and well worthwhile, but sometimes it can be overwhelming. The Minister is fortunate if they have a good team of helpers, but it can get difficult to interest people in taking part. Now that I am retired I can look back on these things and wonder how I ever managed. This week’s wedding reminds me of the amount of time and the intensity that is involved in making things go smoothly. A privilege and a responsibility, but a mere part of what a Minister in post has to do.

When I stopped work it was for health reasons, so I wasn’t able to do very much to help out. However, I got involved a little bit. Then followed another period of ill-health which made it clear that I needed to take things more easily. Nowadays I am very restricted, that’s why helping out has become such a big thing. I simply wanted to make a plea for people who go to church or parishioners who use the church, to understand

Every Blessing to the bride and the groom and their families; it was very special getting to know them. But now I need a bit of a rest. And I have the gift of time to put my feet up.

What do you think are the important things for Ministers and Church Leaders to get involved in?

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6 Responses to Being a Minister

  1. LC says:

    I realize that your list– which I am sure did not cover all the expectations of congregations–was not arranged in the order of priorities. So I would answer your question by putting at the top maintaining a spiritual life, prayer life.

    And second to that priority of carving out regular time with God is to carve out regular time for spouse and family, if one has been blessed with those relationships. And that holds true for more than just ministers.

  2. Ginnie says:

    I would be interested to know if your church opens it’s door to all sorts of recovery programs? I have been in Alcoholics Anonymous for 22 years and have been very impressed with the churches that have welcomed us so generously, especially since AA is not allied with any sect or denomination. The reason for this is so there is no seclusion and it makes it possible for anyone to join us. Our only requirement is a desire to stop drinking.
    One of our long time members died recently. She was a member of the church where the services were held and also attended the AA meetings that met there in the basement once a week. In his eulogy the minister referred to her being such a good member of the church and then alluded to the “downstairs church” that she attended faithfully also and how much that had contributed to her overall goodness. It was lovely.

  3. cloudia says:

    Blessings to YOU!

    Aloha from Waikiki;

    Comfort Spiral
    >

    >

  4. Dianne says:

    Interesting you wrote about this today. On Monday when we were in Alexandria, we drove by a church we once attended. I asked David, “Why did we stop going to church?”

    I was one of those women involved in all kinds of church activities. Too numerous to name here, except Sunday School teacher. I am sure you know the type of person. David served on the vestry and did all sorts of things that men do.

    I don’t know what happened, but somewhere along the way I stopped attending church. David too, although he did it first. He has had some kind of crises in recent years, but does not talk about it. His oldest son committed suicide, and he has never recoved from it. I hope he is beginning to pull out of it.

    Today, Michael Gerson wrote a column for the Washington Post entitled, “What Would Jesus Do?” He was writing about the current conundrum in the US over budget issues. His point seems to be that both political extremes think they are talking to Jesus….both of them. He suggested that Jesus did not get into politics. Don’t know if he was right, but Church politics are a big problem too.

    David says you look like his sister-in-law Coco Foster. He loved her very much. He thinks you would be a fun person to know. Dianne

  5. freda says:

    Thanks for sharing some of your church story. It’s desperate to try and find a way to come to terms with personal tragedy. As for church politics, I think that what matters is that we listen to each other and to the people outside of the church. That way we can perhaps find the way of justice. For me, this is following God. Same way could apply to budget issues. Sorry to hear of the troubles you are having.

  6. Joan McDowall says:

    Good to see you back in the collar..!! and looking so well.

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