Never in my three-plus decades of being a senior pastor have I known those in my profession to be more battered and beleaguered. Thousands leave the ministry annually. Rarely a week goes by that I don’t hear of another church conflict or forced termination. Statistics back this claim, as a recent Gallup Poll revealed that the clergy has fallen to a favorable rating of only 42 percent of those surveyed. At least we still rank above lobbyists, car salesmen, and members of Congress. Despite the decline and doom, I contend that being a pastor is the best job in the world. Here are ten reasons why.
Obviously, money had nothing to do with the career path I’ve taken. Nevertheless, I’m filled with gratitude for being able to make a living at something I would be doing even if I wasn’t in full-time vocational ministry.
As ministers, we are continually meeting people at that critical crossroads between heaven and hell. What a privilege and responsibility it is to equip the saints in this life, as well as prepare them for the one to come.
Though I’m overjoyed when laypeople lead others to the Lord, I never grow weary of being a part of someone’s salvation experience. In fact, I feel conviction and get restless if too much time passes between such encounters.
Sure, our downtime is limited. It seems as though we have to be “on task” 24/7. This arrangement, however, affords us more chances to run errands, get work done around the house, meet family demands, etc.
This website is a prime example. Also, in addition to numerous articles, radio spots, and newspaper columns, I’ve self-published eleven books since 2004, which would have never happened had I not been a pastor.
It’s not that I like hanging out at funeral homes and hospital ERs. Nevertheless, it is exhilarating to connect with and minister to people when life matters most—births, baptisms, graduations, weddings, family crises, sicknesses, funerals, etc.
I’m amazed at the number of people who fear public speaking. I thoroughly enjoy gaining people’s attention bringing forth the Word, especially when I know I’ve come prepared and am speaking under the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit.
Now, more than ever, I feel the need to model Jesus and “withdraw to lonely places and pray” (Luke 5:16). The time and places are there, if only I exercise discipline and take advantage.
After nearly 18 years at FBC LaFayette, GA, I became minister of the community as well as the congregation. This opens doors for civic clubs, local events, board appointments, school events, etc.
I was able to go to Israel for the first time in 2017 with a pastors-only group. I’ve also participated in numerous stateside and international mission trips, most of which I could not have done had I not been a pastor and received support from the church.
Upon becoming a pastor in 1990, I figured I’d eventually move into a denomination position or some other para-church organization. Thirty-three years later, that hasn’t happened because God wants me right where I am. There are days when I want to throw in the towel. Sometimes it seems as though I’m just spinning my wheels and going through the motions. But isn’t that true with any job? What higher calling could there be than preaching the Gospel and shepherding God’s people? It’s the best job in the world.
Todd Gaddis served 30 years as full-time senior pastor and is currently interim pastor at First Baptist Church in Statham.
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