Below is a quote concerning how a gospel preacher should spend his time. He is to devote himself to the full labor of study, prayer, and preaching. I find myself agreeing with the quote, but stopping to give pause to this one sentence:
If we devote ourselves to this labor, there will be little time or energy for other things.
Now, it is true, lazy preachers that milk the pulpit for monetary gain, and neglect their duty of being a workman for God are in err. But my question is how far is this to go? The quote seems to imply that a gospel preacher is to have no to very, very little recreation time. A work ethic of this nature would seem to inevitably lead a gospel preacher down the road to a ruined family, and a burned out ministry.
What do you think (especially my minister friends)? Is an 8 to 5 mindset right, studying with a purpose during these hours so you can have family time, recreation time, etc. the right path? Or should you be devoting yourselves to this labor so that “there will be little time or energy for other things?
I would also like to hear how you have struck the balance and weighed the issue as well (I have an idea in my head on what the right path should be, but I would like to hear your input nonetheless).
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
It is easy for preachers to become paid loafers and social parasites, wasting their days in pleasure, recreation, and bumming around with open palms and an expectant look. Sadly, the religious hucksters and hirelings of the world have earned their reputation. Let no gospel preacher do so!
The pastor has no boss within sight. He is not required to keep regular office hours. And no one checks up on him to be sure he is working. That is as it should be. Yet, the very fact that a church treats her pastor as she should, makes it possible for the pastor to abuse his office, neglect his work, give himself to idleness, or to providing luxuries for himself and his family; when he should give himself relentlessly to study, and prayer, and preaching. If we devote ourselves to this labor, there will be little time or energy for other things.