No doubt when you read that title you are wondering what in the world I am talking about. How can the lead Pastor of a church make such a ridiculous statement? It’s very simple. Pastoring does stink, and I will prove it to you.
First, let me introduce myself. My name is Mike Hackathorn and I am the lead pastor of the greatest church in the entire world. Liberty Church Philadelphia holds a very special place in my heart. It is a little church plant that I have poured a lot into. From the end of 2014 to 2017 I was the administrative pastor and at the beginning of this year I took over as the lead pastor. We are small but we have had some incredible moves of God. I would go into more detail, but that’s not what this post is about. Suffice it to say, we are blessed and have been since the beginning.
Now let me get to my main point. Yes. Pastoring stinks. It smells a lot like hard work. When I first moved to Philadelphia I had these thoughts of just preaching all the time, and not much else. That is about 2% of what I do. The rest is work. Hard work. If you aren’t interested in working, please don’t get involved in pastoring. There will be days when you are on top of the mountain, and there will be days where you might feel like jumping off a mountain. Sometimes the work that’s in front of you will seem overwhelming, and you will want to quit. When you are a pastor you are in the people business and the hard work business.
However, I wouldn’t trade this job for anything else in the world. Why? Because as stressful as it is, and as much work as it is, it is the most rewarding thing in the entire universe. There is nothing like watching someone that you have poured so much work into “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” There have been so many people who have walked away for whatever reason. If every person who has walked through the doors of Liberty Church stayed, we would have a massive church. But you don’t Pastor for the numbers, you Pastor for the people. It’s on record at my church, and many of the members of our congregation could quote it to you by now. I don’t care if there are 5 people or 500 people at our church, we will preach the truth and live the truth. At the end of the day I don’t put all this work into the church for numbers. I do it so that people, any person at all, can be saved.
Here is my advice to young ministers (its weird for me to even say that since I still consider myself a “young” minister), if you don’t want to work or if you just want to be famous and preach, don’t become a pastor, especially the pastor of a church plant. You will be severely disappointed. Pastoring smells a lot like work.