This is part of a blog series that has 30 practical tips for the pastor looking to start or restart well. You can get the entire series as a Kindle book. The landing page will be updated with each new post.
First time parents talk about the adrenaline that gets them through those sleepless nights and the never-ending feeding/changing cycle. Much of this adrenaline wears off by kid #2.
As a Rookie Pastor, especially if it is your first paid ministry you are going to be pumping full of adrenaline ready to get after it. You can make the argument that you have to maximize the honeymoon period and get as much started as possible. Except you forget that in those first 30 days you have the unique opportunity to communicate some values and set precedence.
Going home at 5, or whenever the office closes up for the day, is going to be difficult for some but don’t underestimate the importance of it. So much of pastoring and leadership is about what you do and how those actions communicate what you value. Modeling what a healthy work/family balance has more impact than a sermon on it, and a great sermon will be undermined by a contradictory example.
When you join a church with multiple staff positions you can also give a gift to those you work with and/or supervise by going home at 5. Particularly if you are supervising other staff you are going to be setting the pace in those first 30 days. They will be looking to you to see what to expect moving forward, and I don’t know any pastor who would say they wish their boss would make them stay at the office more.
Use this time to stress the importance of good time management and maximizing time spent in the office, but give permission to others and yourself to go home. There will be times when 60-70 hour weeks are required but make that the exception not the rule.