Should a pastor get additional time off when he works extra days?

by Robert
(California, USA)

Should Pastors earn additional time off because they come in to church on days which the church office is normally closed (Saturday & Monday)? Sometimes evangelism or other events are scheduled on days that the a Pastor normally has off. So should they be compensated with additional time off in-lieu of additional pay? We are basically following most of the Pastor Compensation items you have listed, except this item. I know that all pastor's truly may be on the job every waking moment, so I'm not concerned about keeping track of their time used for ministry.

Comments for Should a pastor get additional time off when he works extra days?

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Leave records
by: Anonymous

I agree with the comments. Only one issue should be considered: If as Pastor take vacation leave, how is the leave days calculated if there is not a formally structured shift system in place. How do you verify a pastor's leave application?

how to keep going
by: Anonymous

As a pastor of a middle sized congregation I think its essential that you take extra time off when you work extra days. My church seems to think that I can work on my day off for weeks and weeks without consequences, and it doesn't really occur to them that I'm not putting me feet up on a weekend. A pastor should explain to their elders at least that they will need to take extra time off, and preferably should tell the whole congregation - that way there will be no misunderstanding about why they are in their garden rather than their office! One of the problems of our role is that everyone else thinks they just want 5 minutes of our time, they don't realise how this can mount up to a devastating work load, and we, being pastors, don't like to refuse to help when we can. Learn to monitor your diary and take time to be human!

Normal Hours
by: Jeff K.

First, I tend to be a work-a-holic. That being said I offer a couple of points
1. I think a pastor should work between 45-50 hours a week. If he can't get the job done, in this amount of time then he may need to delegate some things or keep focused on what he is primarily called to do: pray, preach, shepherd.
2. Moses-he had a problem of taking on too much. Be careful here. I often do this & now have health issues (atrial fibrillation, Mg absorption issues, etc.).

I have been serving as a youth pastor since 1992 & am still learning how to balance my time.

Leave It Up to Your Pastor
by: My Pastor Editor

Keeping track of a pastor's work time is very difficult. I tried for about a year to document all the time I spent on ministry. I gave up... it's just too hard.

I would make this suggestion. Talk to your pastor about the number of hours the church leadership expects him to work. Make this a discussion not an ultimatum. For instance, you might talk about a range of weekly hours: 45 to 60 hours per week, for instance. Include a conversation about the amount of time you would like spent at the church building during "business hours." Then I would leave it to his/her discretion to put in that many hours.

Some pastors like to work Saturday nights; others like to be home. Some want to have one day off each week; others one and a half and still others two days a week. The important thing is to be flexible because a pastor's schedule changes every week.

Some things to consider: Pastors often work Christmas Eve, New Years Eve, Labor Day weekend, Memorial Day weekend, and often on July 4th (all holidays in the USA). Should they get extra days off to compensate? I believe they should.

Personally, I think a pastor should put in five to six days a week, working 45-55 hours each week. He should have all major holidays off even if he has to take them on days other than the actual holidays. If he misses a day off in a given week (because of a funeral, for instance) he should take an extra day off later on.

I believe your pastor should have basic guidelines established for him regarding his work schedule. Beyond that, he/she should be able to determine how best to use the hours allotted to him.

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