Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Hours in the Office



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?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Affair-proofing your Marriage

For his birthday, I suggested John and I meet at the Steak and Hoagie Factory for lunch. John arrived before me, put in our order, and sat at a table. When I entered the restaurant a little later I noticed the woman behind the counter turned a little pale. She watched me wide-eyed as I walked past and sat down next to John who had before him a tray full of food.

As he unwrapped the hoagie we were going to share, we noticed some writing on the wax paper:

John--call me
215-xxx-xxxx
Lucy

While this was not my idea of a birthday present, it certainly explained the horrified look Lucy had on her face when she realized she had just tagged a taken man.

My friend Matt Milliner shared with us a prayer he learned from Pastor Rich Nathan of Columbus Ohio Vineyard Church--it's a prayer to affair proof your marriage (I know, I know, there's no such thing as an "affair-proof-marriage," but a "prayer-that-helps-diminish-the-chances-of-having-an-affair" didn't have as good of a ring to it).

The prayer is simply:
"Lord, I pray that "she/he" might find me unattractive."

The pastor explained that this prayer cut to the heart of an affair, which he said was not as much about lust as it is pride and vanity.

Poor John is so good looking I imagine he's having to pray this prayer all the time. I, on the other hand, am spending my free time slipping little love notes in John's pockets from Lucy! Hee hee hee.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

My New Best Friend Part 2

Okay, okay, okay. I finally grew some guts and took your advice.

After an afternoon of baking, I packaged up some "Ma Magee" cookies and trudged over to my new best friend's house and knocked on the door.

"Oh, can I help you?" asked my best friend when she opened the door. (I gave a sigh of relief that she hadn't recognized me from my earlier reconnaissance work).

I explained to her that I was new to the area and was trying to get to know some of my new neighbors (okay, so I'm not technically a CLOSE neighbor of hers, but didn't Jesus pose the question, "Who is my neighbor?"?)

After stating my reason for knocking on her door, she let me in!! I have now been inside my new best friend's house!

We chatted for a bit before I went in for the kill. "So, um. Maybe sometime we could kinda get coffee together..."

She agreed and gave me her number!!

And that's all I can share with you. After all, best friends have to protect each other's privacy.

This was the closest I've ever come to asking someone out on a blind date. And now I'm left agonizing over the question, "How long do I have to wait before I call her?"