Craig and Jan Hoffman are retired pastors. Jan says, “Craig and I were so blessed to serve a great congregation for twenty-two years. We were the right people at the right time! I wish all ministers and congregations could know that kind of ministry.” Jan reminds us that it can be easy to forget that pastors have their own families and lives outside the walls of the congregation. Jan and Craig share four things your pastor wants you to know — that might just make a huge difference in their life!
- Please love my kids as if they were your own. Call them by name, talk to them at coffee hour and accept them for who they are. Don’t judge them if they’re not in worship every week, or if they don’t take leadership roles in the youth group, mission trip or music program. Although our sons were well-cared-for, we have heard horror stories of other ministers’ kids being judged as somehow “not good enough.”
- Know that I need time to rejuvenate. Yes, I get four weeks of vacation and another week of continuing education. When I’m on vacation, I won’t check my Facebook, and sometimes I won’t check my email. I’ll tell you that ahead of time, but please respect my need to go off by myself without all of you following me! I can care for you more fully when I take time to restore, re-create and reflect on where I’m going as well as where we (as a congregation) are going. I’m also modeling good behavior for you.
- Help me keep to my schedule. Every week I take a day off. Friday is my usual day off. On that day I try to leave my church work. I like to walk and cook and work on a craft project or a house project. Please do not try to be in touch on that day. I am taking a break and restoring my soul. I hope that you have a day off every week to restore your soul, too.
- Respect my boundaries. When my office door is closed, please check with the secretary to see if I can be disturbed. My door is usually open, and when it’s closed, it’s a sign I need privacy. It’s possible that another church member is in need at the moment. Thank you.
Our pastors took a vow to serve, and they do so willingly. Let’s remember to care for them so that they can continue to care for us.
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