1) Watching people making decisions that sometimes ruin their lives and there is nothing you can do about it but pray and still sometimes see them go off the cliff you warned them was there. My husband just dealt with a situation like that today. Very painful for a spiritual mother and father to go through, because we love our people so much.
2) Having a zillion God-dreams but not always the immediate resources to fulfill them.
3) The politics that sometimes come with it. (Though I've sworn not to engage in it, sometimes - unavoidable.)
4) The fact that it has the potential to affect my kids in a negative way. (though I try my best to protect them.)
5) Confrontation - sometimes it's just necessary but I never enjoy it.
6) The fact that many people don't treat church with equal or more importance than a business. If the business world expects excellent work, how much more should the church? Sometimes people think we should excuse a lot more from our employees or volunteers because we are a church (and I hate that attitude). I think more should be expected, not less, out of Christ-followers.
7) The fact that sometimes the people you do the most for, appreciate it the least or hurt you the most, and the people you do the least for look at you like you are God incarnate. What's that about?
8) The fact that we almost exclusively work with a volunteer work force. How many corporations could ever succeed with that? None. Which is one thing that makes the church of Jesus Christ an absolutely amazing thing. And for pastors who lead successfully -- a leader unequaled in the business world, IMHO. Tell a CEO he has to work with "volunteers". He'd resign after about 2 days of it. But pastors all over the world keep doing it, putting their hand to the plow, and moving forward. Amazing! I salute my collegues all over the world! You are AMAZING. Simply amazing.
10) That you "take your kids to work with you" each week. What other professionals have their entire family show up, on display - to be critiqued week after week? None. Even politicians only have the occasional public appearance with their kids. People complain about pastor's kids and how they act sometimes, but you can't imagine what is expected of these kids. It's amazing that many PK's stay sane or saved with the expecations that are on them and the lifestyle that many have to live. Can you imagine your surgeon doing an operation on you with their two kids standing right there? How about your lawyer defending a court case with their three kids sitting there beside them at the witness table? How about your banker, trying to explain your investment portfolio to you with their two year old and six year old in their office? No, it would never happen. Yet pastors lead worship, teach, preach, and shake hands at the door every single week with their kids there, on display before the entire church. No one would think it odd if the banker's kids couldn't sit still in the room, or the doctor's kids said, "I'm hungry Dad. I don't want to stand here while you do this open heart surgery." But if the pastor's kid does the same, it's viewed differently. Probably the hardest thing for me in pastoring the first decade was the fact that people had no idea, I was doing so...taking my entire family to work. I don't think if the shoe were on the other foot most of them could ever do it. Some say, "well, I bring MY whole family to church each week. What's the difference?" First, you are not leading, necessarily. Second, you can leave when you need to. If your kids are tired, you just go. And you don't have to greet anybody on your way out. You just grab the kids and head out with not a care in the world. Third, you don't have several hundred eyes on you watching every move you make. But then again, unless you are one who actually has been through this as a minister, you are shaking your head right now going, "huh? going to WORK? What's she talking about?"
Most people don't even realize that Sunday is a work day for us. Not our only one by far, but one of them. Sunday is NOT our Sabbath and it is not restful by any means. Services are "work time" for us not just a celebration or a time to be refreshed by God. Some Moms never make it through "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" without going, "Geez, if I had to do this everyday, I'd never get anything done..." Next time, just remember your minister. They do that EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY AND WEDNESDAY.