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The Pastor and Hobbies

(This was orginally posted on August 27, 2019)

I've been asked the question many times, and I never have a satisfactory answer:

"What are your hobbies? What do you do for fun?"

Usually, I make a joke about being a dad to two younger children (8 & 5), a husband, and a pastor does not allow me time for hobbies. Besides, hobbies are expensive.

However, I've grown increasingly more aware of the fact that I'm not doing my family, church, or myself any favors by not having a hobby. The non-stop, frantic, pursuit of productivity is hurting many areas of life, including, ironically, my productivity!

I think one reason why hobbies are so important for pastors is that the nature of our job usually doesn't allow us to see a project to completion. We can not measure growth/progress tangibly in a short amount of time in most of what we do. Additionally, the work we do is similar to being on a treadmill – it just keeps coming back with no end in sight.

We complete a sermon, breathe a massive sigh of relief, and then get back at it again because we have to preach again in 7 days. Or we spend a lot of time preparing to meet with someone to help them and then we have to do it again and again. Most of what we do require a lot of reoccurring mental sweat, often with no end in sight.

Hobbies could provide a way for us to see things to completion in a short about of time. For example, a pastor friend of mine picked up woodworking as his hobby. He told me that it is life-giving to be able to make a cutting board or piece of furniture because he can see a final product in a relatively short amount of time.

I think this is one reason why I liked working on my doctoral degree while I was pastoring. I could follow the academic schedule set before me, and I saw classes, projects, and eventually, a degree completed.

So, there are two goals for this post:

  1. I hope to inspire you to embrace the need for a hobby.

  2. I hope to get good ideas about what to do for a hobby.

I would love to hear about what you do for your pastime because I don't know what to do for mine! I would love to ride motorcycles, but I just bought a house so spending money on a Harley Davidson Road King Special isn't at the top of my priorities! I don't particularly enjoy painting or gardening and feel like my pastime should be something that I enjoy if it is to be life-giving.

So, give me your ideas and in the process, make sure you carve out some time to do something that will provide you with a break so you can be a better pastor.

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