When we lived in MI I was at a store shopping for some clothes, and a lady from the church saw me and asked me how things were going–I think at the time I was trying to find a better job to help meet our financial needs, though I can’t remember. In any case, she told me about subbing in the school system and if I was interested to let her know because it was her job to call subs. I was appreciative and said I would keep it in mind. Before I could walk away she asked if David would like to do subbing too? I said, no he was pretty busy during the week. The lady’s response was “interesting,” befuddling, and I guess sad. She said, “What can he be busy with? He only works on Sunday!” Wow. I had always heard the jokes about a pastor only working one day a week but had not encountered anyone who actually believed it! I started to laugh, thinking she was joking, and when I realized she was not joking I proceeded to run down a list of things that David did during the week to keep busy–prepare for Sunday morning and evening worship, mid-week worship, hospital visitation, home visits, continuing education, etc. Her eyes kinda glazed over, and I kinda wondered if she thought I was making it up. I went home scratching my head, and I suppose she probably did too.
So, what does a pastor do during the week? The list is endless, really. And, Sunday isn’t always the busiest day of the week, interestingly enough! I can’t speak for all pastors, though I figure it’s pretty much the same across the board. And, the size of the church and amount of staff members a church has also determines just how much needs to be done, but I assure you the pastor is busy! The interesting thing about a pastor is he/she may have a weekly agenda for the same things that need to get done each week, but a funeral or wedding, or other crisis in the church can really make the week take a totally different direction. My husband takes Friday and Saturday off so we have 2 days in a row to be a family and get stuff done around the house. This means he gets his sermon done before Friday and gets all other pastoral duties done before then too. However, there are the times when a member of the church dies and he has to take a different direction to his week.
Sermons don’t write themselves, a master’s or doctorate doesn’t happen overnight, decisions aren’t made on a whim. These things take time and these things are all part of your pastor’s job and calling. Your pastor is a man/woman who works very hard, and carries the weight of at least the congregation on their shoulders. If your pastor jokes about how he/she “only works one day a week” it’s OK to laugh because you know better than that!