Most people don’t understand the sacrifices of a family that has someone who works full time at a church. This includes pastors, directors in operations, media, youth, kids, senior leadership, worship, creative arts, and everything in between.
Most families get to enjoy the weekend – sleep in, family breakfast, sporting events, relaxing, etc. Families of full time church employees spend their weekend preparing, adjusting schedules, answering questions, building emergencies, etc (mental Rehearsal at the least). No matter how much we plan and prepare there is usually at least a few last minute weekend things that arise.
It is also very common to have ministry events on the weekend because during the week most people are working. This means that weekends are the most accessible time for community events.
Difficult holiday worship services
The fact that most holidays are founded on religious beliefs and/or ceremony it makes celebrating holidays difficult for those in ministry. When most families can travel for holidays many ministry workers have to stay in town for a holiday church service (i.e. Christmas Eve, Easter Sunday). Also, one of the traditions that many families have, especially mothers, is having the entire family sit together at church and worship together on these special days. This usually doesn’t happen for those in ministry.
Opinions and Questions directed at family
When you have a family member in ministry, people regularly ask other family members questions and feel free to give their opinions – usually to the spouse. This is can be overwhelming for the spouse as they usually don’t know the intricacies of ministry events or procedures. The kids usually get the opinions and criticisms.
It’s a challenge for the entire family, but for most of us when you ask each family member they wouldn’t want it any other way.
Entering full time ministry shouldn’t be decided by one person but by all those involved. There aren’t too many other careers that encapsulate the entire family in such a way.
I say all this to say – this is what we signed up for. We care so much about the people and them discovering love and acceptance from Jesus and growing in all areas of their lives.