What Pastors Like about their Jobs

From Thom Rainer:

So I took to the Twitterverse again with my poll question asking pastors what they like most about their work. Here are their top ten responses.

  1. Seeing lives transformed.  
  2. Preaching. Frankly, I expected this response to be number one, but it was a distant second. Preaching is very important to these pastors, but transformed lives are the most important. Of course, some of them noted that preaching transforms lives.
  3. Personal evangelism. Though distant to number one, sharing the gospel one-on-one was a clear number three. Here is a fascinating facet of this study to me: Over 85 percent of the pastors named one of these first three as their response. The next eight were named by less than 15 percent of the pastors.
  4. The people/members.  
  5. Developing new relationships.  
  6. Ministering in the community.  
  7. Ministering to members.  
  8. Casting a vision.  
  9. Staff relationships.  
  10. Mentoring or discipling one-on-one.  
About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • David Moore

    As a former full-time pastor and now itinerant, I find it disheartening (if this poll is any real indication) that discipleship is tenth and no comment made about that changing lives.

    My own interaction with many pastors does reflect what the poll is saying. Few pastors seem interested in the non sexy work of long-term discipleship. Thankfully, I know some notable exceptions to what may be the general rule.

  • Tyler M. Tully

    I wonder how honest pastors can be in this environment. Surely they also like getting paid for what they do. I’m sure its much easier to mention the more altruistic portions of their ministry, but without sounding cynical, how many would be honest enough to say “I enjoy being employed”? While there are plenty of pastors who don’t make much, and others who may not make anything, if “preaching” is any indication of pastoral priorities, then perhaps “calling the shots” at the church may be up at the top but unmentioned as well.

  • Keith

    It all depends on how you define “transformed.” This is because discipleship one-on-one, mentoring, preaching and some of the other categories can be subsumed under transformed. As a Pastor, when I disciple one-on-one, I want to see the Holy Spirit transform the life of the person. What a privilege to have a role to play in all of that. At the core of my ministry is transformation. Also, most pastors I know want to sincerely make a difference in the life of people.


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