Your Job Description

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Categories: Pastors Blog

Comments: 4

Dear Pastors

Your Job Description(JD)

Last week I talked about ‘mission drift’. I talked about how easy it is for a JD to be a key document at the point of recruitment, only to be relegated to file 13 afterwards and rarely if ever to be seen again.

I suggested that your JD should continue to act as a guard rail throughout your tenure of employment.

Today I want to offer you a JD outline. It assumes a few things:-

  1. That you are employed full time i.e. 40 hours per week or 173 hours a month. There are nigh on 500 waking hours a month.
  2. That you are a sole charge pastor.
  3. That your church can afford somewhere around 15-20 hours paid office and administration time.
  4. That you are volunteering a few hours a week beyond your paid hours in the same way all volunteers do at church.
  5. That you preach/teach 60-66% of Sundays. Approx. 2-3 times a month.
  6. That your personal devotional time is in your own time in the same way it is for everyone.
  7. That you are thoughtful about who you have lunch with most days. Try and have at least two ‘strategic lunches’ a week.
  8. That meeting attendance at night and on Saturdays is regarded as work and therefore ‘time off in lieu’ or TOIL.

On this basis your JD may look something like this (on a monthly basis):-

20% study, sermon, service and other speaking prep = one day a week equivalent irrespective if you are preaching or not.

20% overseeing and leading ministry teams = one day a week equivalent. This includes all internal meetings.

15% pastoral care including weddings and funerals = 26 hours p/m

15% Sunday morning attendance incl. hospitality = 26 hours p/m

5% Strategic thinking, planning and development = 8 hours (minimum) p/m

5% personal and professional development = 8 hours (minimum) p/m

10% office administration, emails etc. = 17 hours p/m

5% external meetings = 8 hours p/m

5% discretionary = 8 hours p/m

My encouragement is for you to do your own review. Review the content of your work for an average week and then review your JD. Recently, I asked the management team of an organisation I am doing some work for to fill out a time sheet for 4 weeks. I assured them it wasn’t to check on whether or not they were doing the required number of hours (because I knew that already) but rather to analyse the content of their work. This exercise always yields interesting information about what is actually going on around here and how much mission drift has actually occurred. Please remember this management maxim:- activity will always fill any and all available spaces.

Finally for now. I am a great believer in every leader/manager to regularly do a honest review of your work and answer the question, ‘am I working smarter not (necessarily) harder’? This is also an excellent question to consider at your annual performance review as well.

I hope this is helpful? Your feedback is welcome.


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  1. Austin Austin It is important to tackle also work life, as this is probably the top priority of many.
    Austin, Tauranga
    <a href=""></a> Thursday, December 8, 2022
  2. Jared Jared People should know that job description are essential for application. Thanks for this! Thursday, December 8, 2022
  3. Jayden Jayden I agree, each person should know what his or her specific tasks. It will be a great inspiration for those who are confused with theirs. Tuesday, December 13, 2022
  4. Patter Patter It will spell out duties and responsibilities of the job. ~ bankfivenine Thursday, January 12, 2023