Someone Told Me I Wasn’t a Pastor Anymore

paycheck1Last week, someone informed me that because I no longer received a paycheck from the church, I was no longer a pastor.

And I guess in the broadest sense of things, that’s right.  Katie and I have been searching for the right church for a long time now – and I haven’t received a paycheck from the church during that entire time.  So if receiving a paycheck defines a call….then I guess I am no longer a pastor.

But I happen to believe being a pastor is more about a call and less about a job.

Being a pastor means taking the middle-of-the-night phone calls of despair.  Yep….still do that.

Being a pastor means having hard conversations with people who ‘don’t wanna hear it.’   Check.

Being a pastor means helping folks see Jesus better, understand Him more completely, love Him better.  Ummmm…..yes.

Right now, my paycheck is illusive.  That doesn’t make me a magician.  (Although, sometimes when all the bills are paid, I do wonder if that might be the next career path for me!)

I am a pastor.  And whether or not I ever see another paycheck from a church, I will always be that.  God created me with that heart.  Ministry is NOT just a job….unless it is.  And if it is, I say to you — you know you can make a lot more money with a lot less heart-ache doing something else, right?

If you’re a pastor -BE THAT – in whatever context (and with whatever paycheck) you find yourself.

Author: Darren Sutton

I've been in student ministry nearly 30 years…which generally just confirms how much I still don't know. Some days I'm the pizza-eating, over-responding, teaching-on-the-fly, desperate-for-volunteers, frustrated-with-co-workers youth leader that we all are. And sometimes…I knock it out of the park. I'm everywhere on social media that you are!

9 thoughts on “Someone Told Me I Wasn’t a Pastor Anymore”

  1. So Darren Sutton…since I left my “paid” youth pastor position to start Pass The Salt Ministry…does that mean I’m no longer a pastor either??? lol And believe me, lots of people have a very hard time ever calling me that. I always explain that I’m a pastor with the lowest of the lower case p you can ever find!!! Pastor is shepherd in my book; and I love on people and that’s what I feel called to do…keep it up from one Non-pastor to another!!!

  2. Heck yes. Tell it. Because Jesus, Paul, many others we find in the bible who pastored, received a paycheck from the church….Oh wait, that didn’t define ministry for them!

    -Tasha, The Bridge Chicago

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