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Top 10 Things Nobody Tells You About Working in a Church

July 19th 2013 (3) comments so far  

RabbitThere’s a fantastic blog called Stuff Christians Like by Jon Acuff that I thoroughly enjoy. In one of his posts, he whimsically imagines what it’s like to work in a church. Below is an excerpt.

“My assumption is that, other than Sunday, a church job is kind of like having a really long quiet time.  You probably get to read the Bible all day and take long breaks in your prayer closet and spend eight hours a day growing your own spiritual life. I’m sure the phone rings sometimes, like when someone needs a casserole of hope after a death in the family or a youth group van breaks down. But for the most part, I imagine the average day is filled with a lot of ‘me time.’”

I can tell you firsthand this isn’t the case. There’s a lot of work during the week to make a church  run like a clock. We put in the daily grind just like you, meeting deadlines and going to meetings. But there are a few aspects of this job you won’t find in a typical corporate setting. And most of them are awesome.

10. There is almost always some kind of food laying around. Cookies left over from the ice cream social, fried chicken left over from a Boy Scout meeting, anything and everything you can imagine. I don’t even bother bringing lunch half the time because you can survive entirely on women’s Bible study doughnuts.

9. Not married when you start the job? Working in a church saves you money on a ChristianMingle membership. Fun fact: 100 percent of church employees have single friends or relatives around your age that you would get along with so well.

8. Need a break from your desk? Watch your e-mail. Community outreach lunches need to be packed, Vacation Bible School decorations need hanging, and Awana is looking for judges for the soapbox racers. Not to mention, everyone is so happy to see you when you show up!

7. The Worship Center might as well be Gollum’s cave from The Hobbit when the lights are off. Anyone who can walk in there without sprinting to the light switch is some sort of Bear Grylls-Batman super-person.

6. Creative consultation meetings with the Preteen Ministry tend to break out in glow-in-the-dark finger rocket fights. It aids the mind in the creative process.

5. In most offices, you might get a half-hearted “Happy Birthday” song with a dollar store cupcake. At a church, you make a funny video with everyone else in your birthday month that gets shown at the staff meeting.

4. Bunnies hang around everywhere on campus. Everywhere. And they’re so full of second-hand grace they let you walk right on by them.

3. Something called “Treat Day” exists in the summertime. This week’s theme was “Church Lady Casseroles.” Let your imagination run wild.

2. Stories of your past youth group shenanigans are laughed at behind closed doors only. If the director of housekeeping ever found out that broken couch was you, you’re a dead man. The fact that it was six years ago is irrelevant.

1. We don’t get too much allotted “me time” for prayer. But we do get group prayer “Power Half Hour” every Wednesday afternoon.



    Les July 19th at 11:59 am  

    Power Half Hour baby! That’s where it’s at! Great blog, Townsend.


    Kathy Goodwin July 19th at 1:17 pm  

    Hmm, so that was you that broke the couch? Don’t worry the original leather couches could have been declared to have “surface contamination” by OSHA. Somebody tore the back cushions off and that is what condemned them. Grace!


    Melody Bollinger May 3rd at 3:21 pm  

    I wanna work at your church! …smile I actually work at a large church for my area and it’s sadly nothing like what you described. Not one thing! :(((( No prayer times together, no real laughing or playing, IT’S QUIET AND SOMBER except for very short work related chats. I respect that the pastors are guarded, but so guarded that they’re almost not human. It’s like working with robots.

    Regarding prayer, only the senior pastor prays when we meet monthly and it seems he is the only one who prays when the pastors meet weekly. We all walk in fear of him and yet, Christ Himself was very approachable! You’ve got me thinking as I’m writing you and reflecting on your post. Something seems very wrong where I’m at and I need to be praying about this.

    How I came upon your posts is by looking up the VOM Regional Conference at your church in June and one thing led to another. Anyway, maybe I will get to meet you and say “hi” if you’re anywhere around on that Saturday or possibly Sunday?! I plan to attend one of your services on Sunday as I have high regard for Chuck Swindoll and would love to join in and worship there.

    May GOD bless YOU!

    Melody ~

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