Does a call to ministry equal a call to workaholism?

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What do you think?  Are pastors too busy?

In The Contemplative Pastor, Eugene Peterson wrote, “I’m not arguing with the accuracy of the adjective; I am, though, contesting the way it’s used to flatter and express sympathy.  ‘The poor man,’ we say.  ‘He’s so devoted to his flock; the work is endless, and he sacrifices himself so unstintingly.’  But the word busy is the symptom not of commitment but of betrayal.  It is not devotion but defection.  The adjective busy set as a modifier to pastor should sound to our ears like adulterous to characterize a wife or embezzling to describe a banker.  It is an outrageous scandal, a blasphemous affront.”

Does a call to ministry equal a call to workaholism?

3 Comments

  1. Hi, my name is Jeremy. I am a workaholic.

    I struggle with this like crazy.

    I’ve done better in the last year than in the first year of our church plant.

    I have another thought, though, about that survey. I sometimes wonder if pastors, when asked that question, if they LIE. Uhm, I mean, exaggerate. They feel the pressure to work more, so whether or not they do, they say they work more than they actually do.

    Secondly, along those lines, are they really “working” all those hours. How many pastors (including me) sit in their offices, wasting TONS of time. Hours and hours of time go by with nothing truly being accomplished.

    All in all, no, ministry isn’t a call to workaholism. It is a call to productivity, however. Maybe our pastor friends need to work smarter rather than harder…

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