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One thing I have come to really dislike as a pastor is the amount of statements I hear that comment on either what I get paid to do, or how much I work. It is usually veiled in a joke, but the intent is clear … people think the job of a pastor is cushy, easy, not quite real work. It is the things people say like;

  • Must be nice to only work one day a week! (or some variation of that)
  • That is easy for you to say, you get paid to read your Bible. (or some variation of what I am paid to do)
  • As a youth pastor I hear this a lot … You get paid to just hang out/play all day.
  • and this list could go on and on!

Now first, it is really wrong to make statements like that. Second, too many pastors do just enough work to reenforce this statements as truth! I have heard it said that many men become pastors because it is indoor work and there is no heavy lifting! Paul in a few verses tells Timothy to work hard … my hope is that I work hard enough that people in the church know I am labouring in the Gospel for the glory of Jesus Christ, but not work so much that my kids and wife feel bitter to the very Gospel that is my and their salvation. It is a tightrope to walk, but one that every pastor, and Christian, has to deal with!

Here are a few passages where paul calls Timothy to work hard.

  1. Do the work of an evangelist – 1 Tim. 4:5
  2. Preach the Word – in season and out of season – reproving, rebuking, and exhorting with great patience and instruction – 1 Tim. 4:1-2
  3. Discipline himself for the purpose of godliness – 1 Tim. 4:7-11
  4. Take care of his physical condition so he is strong to serve – 1 Tim. 5:23
  5. Honour faithful pastors who work hard – 1 Tim. 5:17-21
  6. Fight for the faith against all enemies and all attacks – 1 Tim. 6:12
  7. Suffer difficulty and persecution willingly while making the maximum effort for Christ – 2 Tim. 2:3-7

The information on this topic are adapted from the following books: 1 and 2 Timothy, the ESV Study Bible and Ashamed of the Gospel by John MacArthur.