What Do Pastors Actually Do?

I'm actually a missionary right now, but a lot of people over the years have said to one another, what do pastors do with their time? To give you a rough idea, whoever you are asking, I can reflect on my pastor days and share what those men are doing typically:


1. Prayer for those who are sick in their congregation. (10 minutes to 5 hours)
2. Prayer for those who are wandering away from following Jesus in visible ways. (30 minutes to 5 hours)
3. Sermon passage and topic choosing (with more prayer and study). (0 minutes to 15 hours)
4. Sermon passages study, to make sure you know you're not off track. (5 to 15 hours)
5. Sermon writing. (10 to 25 hours depending on difficulty, knowledge, jokes, illustrations)
6. Sermon study and re-thinking it. (minimum 3 hours to 10 hours)
7. Administrating teams. (0 to 10 hours)
8. Evangelism or Evangelism Training or Special Events for Evangelism. (1 to 20 hours)
9. Administrating budget/economic planning. (0 to 16 hours)
10. Sunday School/Small Group/Men's Group/Women's Group leader training. (1 to 10 hours)
11. Checking up on what is happening in culture and their particular missions agencies they associate with. (30 minutes to 4 hours)
12. Materials checking/obtaining. (0 to 3 hours)
13. Other. Depends on size of church and needs. (0 to 10 hours)
14. Counseling. Depends on extensiveness of it and research. (0 to 10 hours)
15. Meeting people. (1 to 10 hours)
16. Mission Agencies Meetings. (0 to 5 hours)

Occassionaly, 17. Weddings and Funerals. (0 to 20 hours, normally more work than you get paid for it, as an example if you do a good custom order of service and message it could take 20 hours, which is half of some people's work week, but people often give you 100-200 dollars, which no one could actually live on and is somewhat weak.)

There you go, that week could be 40 hours or 70 hours. More than likely it is edging 50 to 60 hours per week....

Also, it should go without saying, but a pastor's work schedule is different than his congregants because you're working on their 'days off' or their 'days of rest.'


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