I began my current youth pastor job with great fear that I would fall into workaholic patterns. However, after six months in this position, and after many talks with my senior pastor and my husband, I've averaged about 45-50 hours a week (not including weekend retreats, lock-ins, etc.). This feels pretty reasonable.
My father is a pastor and set very good examples for me in this arena. Unless there was the occasional board meeting, he was home every night at 5:30 pm for dinner and consistently took Friday's off.
About a month ago a friend of mine asked me to e-mail him my job description and weekly schedule. His response was:
"Are you sure that'’s all you do? You'’ve got to be kidding me, right? (OK, that's not a slam if you'’re not kidding me… it'’s more just a depiction of how surprised I am and how different our roles look right now)."
I think my 45-50 hour work week is uncommon among pastors (Nate Kingsbury's recent post confirms my suspicion).
My questions are:
Who is responsible for keeping reasonable hours? The pastor or the church? Can a pastor legitimately blame the church or her or his senior pastor for long hours and limited days off? Are there different rules for singles, or whether of not you have kids? If you're a pastor, what does your schedule look like?