Wednesday, March 05, 2008

3 Jobs

The priest in a small parish with no staff does his best to do what is essentially 3 Jobs: administrative, custodial and pastoral. Sometimes these jobs overlap, but it helps me to see them separately at least in concept.

Administrative work is all of the behind-the-scenes work of running a small organization. It involves everything on the business side, from processing the mail to chairing the Vestry, to publishing the weekly email bulletin.

Custodial work involves the care of 2 buildings, sidewalks, driveway, parking lot, rural property along a busy road, etc... it ranges from changing lightbulbs in exit signs to mopping the floor in the Parish Hall.

Pastoral work is the job that I imagine the priests of large parishes have the luxury of focusing on for 40 hours or so a week. This involves everything you might naturally associate with the priesthood, such as: calling on parishioners, preparing Bible study, writing sermons, celebrating the Lord's Supper.

As if the above three jobs aren't enough, I have an area of special interest. I am a choirmaster by training, and thus I have the responsibility of administering, recruiting, teaching and rehearsing our young choristers.

Add it all up ... toss in family life ... and I'm always busy! Fortunately I have a good group of friends and parish members who sacrificially give of their time to help in all of these areas. I am learning how to delegate! When I first came here, I used to vainly try and do everything, which it took more than 60 hours a week.

The reason I can attempt any of these jobs is because they are for the Church, which I love. I couldn't bring myself to be much of an administrator, if it wasn't the Lord's Business; I couldn't be a very enthusiastic custodian, if the building wasn't the Lord's House; I couldn't do pastoral work, if the people were not the People of God; I couldn't be a choirmaster, if my choir didn't sing the music of Heaven. All of these jobs could be boring and lack meaning if they weren't tinged with eternal purpose.