What Pastors Do During the Week and How You Can Pray for Them

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People often ask me, “What do you do during the week?” That is an honest question since most people only see the work that a pastor does by speaking way too long on Sundays. 

The purpose of this blog is to encourage you to pray for your pastors and church staff and to learn how to encourage them in the best way. The Bible teaches us to pray for our pastors, leaders and even our government officials. Ephesians 4 tells us that pastors are a gift to the church. Pastors teach God’s Word, lead spiritually, guide, pray for people, counsel, proclaim the gospel, help families, and many other things that help people connect with God and grow in their relationship with Jesus. (1 Timothy 5:7; Hebrews 13:17; Galatians 6:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; 1 Corinthians 9:11, 14; Philippians 1:3-5; Hebrews 13:7; 1 Peter 5:2; 2 Timothy 4:2) 

So, what do pastors actually do during the week? It is common for people to think that pastors sit around high-fiving angels, listening to worship music, and playing golf all day. Pastors are accountable to God for the people they lead. They are held to a higher standard and often feel the pressure of criticism. It can be intensely personal and emotionally draining leading a church. Think of running a church like running a business (like where you work), running an educational institution (we teach birth through adults every week), managing a volunteer organization (like the Red Cross), and a running a counseling center all in one. Then think about a time that you had to give a speech in front of lots of people… and your job depended on it. Then think about doing that every single week. My purpose is not to impress you with our work ethic but to get you to pray for our church staff. Our staff works really hard to serve Jesus by serving you. 

Here are just a few things that pastors (and church staff members) do every week. 

•          Prepare sermons and lessons – I normally spend at least 15-20 hours per week doing this

•          Meetings – staff meetings, planning meetings, deacon and elder meetings, ministry team meetings

•          Plan weekly services

•          Practice music for the services

•          Plan technical, sound, and visual items for services

•          Do long term planning for sermon series and outreach

•          Recruit and train volunteers for all the different ministries

•          Manage small groups

•          Write lessons for small groups

•          Follow up with guests

•          Write letters 

•          Plan advertising

•          Work on area-wide mail-outs and evangelism strategies

•          Manage budgets for each ministry

•          Pay bills, prepare financial reports, manage funds, deal with banks, and set up financial counseling

•          Budget projections, comparisons, and forecasting

•          Enter contributions for each person

•          Plan weekly student services

•          Recruit and train youth leadership

•          Hospital visitation, funerals, weddings

•          Marriage and pre-marital counseling, financial counseling, family counseling

•          Work on, shoot, prepare, and edit service videos and online content for Avalon Church online

•          Baptism planning

•          Follow-up with those who receive Christ

•          Help people take their next step, Next Step Classes

•          Prepare all church communications including websites, in-service communications, blogs, e-mails

•          Prepare sermon podcasts and video broadcasts

•          Manage the church website and social media and prepare, shoot, and edit service videos, and visuals

•          Work on sound, lighting, and video equipment

•          Respond to complaints

•          Data entry for new members, visitors, baptisms, salvations, and other decisions

•          Manage purchase orders and requests

•          Run a business office

•          Manage the church office

•          Manage the church calendar for church-wide events and individual ministry events

•          Manage and maintain the facilities

•          Background checks for nursery, preschool, and children’s workers

•          Buy and choose curriculum for preschool and children’s ministry

•          Leadership development

•          Plan for major events like Easter and Christmas

•          Children’s ministry planning

•          Missions planning

•          Set designs for new message series

•          Printing

•          Computer work

•          Vision casting

•          Prayer

•          Writing for emails, lessons, books, and other teaching content

I could go on, but you get the point. There is a lot of work to do and all of it would be in vain without many volunteers as well. There is no way our church staff could do this without you. It takes hundreds of volunteer hours to pull off a service at Avalon Church. That is why it is so important that you volunteer! 

Pray for our pastors and church staff. Pray for their families, their leadership, their encouragement, their protection, their health, their finances, and their growth. When you have the chance, let them know how much God has changed and blessed your life through their service. It will be a HUGE blessing to them and will encourage them to continue to serve Jesus by serving you.