When you go to church, if the pastor at some point doesn’t make you laugh, he probably ain’t gonna make you join.

R. Kelly, Musician

Pros and Cons of Working as a Clergyman

advantages and disadvantages of being a pastor

You think about becoming a clergyman but are not sure whether this is a good idea or not? Great!

Stick with me since I will show you all the pros and cons of being a pastor in the following chapters.

Pastor Job Profile

Job DescriptionPastors are responsible for offering church services to the general public. They also listen to the problems of people and try to give them hope to overcome those dark times.
Salary$85,000 per year on average, most clergymen make between $72,000 and $110,000 per year.
Job SecurityGood since not many people want to do this job.
Job SatisfactionDecent if you are passionate about the church and your belief in god.
Work-Life BalanceGood since you will have plenty of leisure.
Physically / Mentally Demanding?Can be mentally and emotionally demanding.
Future OutlookDecent since pastors are not replaceable by machines as many other people are.
RequirementsYou need a college degree for becoming a pastor in most regions.

Advantages of Being a Clergyman

  1. Decent job security for pastors
  2. Good future job prospects
  3. Pastors can make good money
  4. Being a pastor is not that stressful
  5. You will have a high standing in your community
  6. Clergymen can help people to overcome difficult situations
  7. You will value your own life much more
  8. Pastors can work indoors
  9. Priests don’t work in a physical manner
  10. You will not have to work many extra hours
  11. Priests have a good work-life balance
  12. Being a pastor is more than just a job

Decent job security for pastors

One advantage of being a priest is that you will be able to enjoy pretty decent job security.

Once you got into this position, you will not have to fear being fired since you will become an integral part of your community and people will really build strong connections with you.

In turn, there will be no reason at all to let you go and you will likely stay in this position as long as you want.

In fact, many pastors will work in this field for their whole lives.

Hence, if you are a person who really wants to have a high level of job security, becoming a pastor can really make sense for you in this regard.

Good future job prospects

Not only will you have pretty good job security right now, but you will also not have to worry about losing your job in the future.

Since not that many people want to work in this field, there is a lack of qualified pastors in many regions of our planet.

This trend will likely continue and this means excellent job prospects for many years or even decades to come.

Thus, while many other people will have to fear losing their jobs in the near future due to machine learning and artificial intelligence, you will not have to worry about those things as a pastor since robots and other machines will just not be able to do the job as well as you can as a human being.

Pastors can make good money

You should also not underestimate the amount of money you can make from your job as a pastor.

Many people don’t know it but some pastors even make a six-figure income.

Even if you don’t, you will still make a decent living from what you are doing and many of your friends will not even earn close to what you will be making as a clergyman.

Hence, while pastors always claim that they are humble, they can still afford some luxury.

Sure, you will not get rich as a parson.

Yet, you will also not have to worry about money that much and will be able to afford a decent lifestyle.

Being a pastor is not that stressful

Another upside to becoming a priest is that you can work in a rather relaxed manner.

Instead of working in the corporate world where you have to face time pressure and stress on a regular basis, you will be able to work without those issues as a pastor.

In fact, you will have no boss who will look you over the shoulder all day long.

Instead, you will have lots of freedom regarding how you want to structure your day and also how you want to do your work.

Thus, while many other people out there suffer from burnout and depression that comes from their jobs, you will have a rather relaxed life in this regard and can really enjoy your time at work.

You will have a high standing in your community

As a pastor, you will also have a good social standing in your community.

Since you will be the one who listens to the problems of people, you will also become the one whom those people trust.

Quite often, they will rely on you to solve their problems and if you do so in a proper manner, those people will often be quite grateful for what you are doing and will also accept you as kind of a spiritual leader.

Consequently, over time, you can build really strong bonds with people in your community and this can also help you in various different ways.

The more people you know, the more people can help you in difficult periods of your life.

Clergymen can help people to overcome difficult situations

As a clergyman, you will also be responsible to help people out during their darkest hours.

Quite often, people will come to you desperately looking for help.

While this can be emotionally challenging, it also gives you lots of purpose in what you are doing since you know that you do an important job for those people.

In turn, while many other people who are just in their jobs for the money will get demotivated in the long run, you will likely stay motivated for much longer since you really see purpose in what you are doing.

You will value your own life much more

Since you will listen to many bad stories of other people, you will also enjoy your own life much more.

You get aware of the fact that those bad things could also have happened to you and you will be really thankful for every day that you don’t have to deal with those things.

It will also help you to put your life into perspective and minor things will no longer bother you that much since you know that many other people have it much worse than you.

Overall, you will therefore also be able to really grow in character as a pastor and will also be able to enjoy your own life much more.

Pastors can work indoors

Another benefit of being a pastor is that you can also work indoors.

While this may seem quite normal to you, there are still many people out there who will not have the luxury of working indoors.

Instead, they have to work outdoors during extreme weather conditions and secretly wish to change places with you in this regard.

Hence, while other people have to work outdoors in the cold or during times of extreme heat, you will be the one who can enjoy your time in a rather cozy atmosphere instead.

Priests don’t work in a physical manner

You can also avoid heavy physical work as a pastor.

While you will have to talk a lot and also have to prepare some things, you will still mainly work with your brain instead of having to lift heavy things all day long as construction workers and other people have to do.

In turn, your work environment will be much more relaxed and you will also not have the same risk to suffer from physical health problems once you get older.

Therefore, becoming a pastor can also be great for you if you don’t want to work in a physical manner and if you also want to protect your body from adverse consequences in the future.

You will not have to work many extra hours

Pastors also enjoy rather short workweeks.

In fact, most pastors work less than 40 hours per week and there are even clergymen who only work part-time.

Sure, they also have to prepare some things and do some organizational work.

Yet, you will just not have to deal with the same workload as people in the corporate world who often have to work 50 hours+ per week.

In turn, you will have more than enough time to spend with your favorite people or on your hobbies.

Priests have a good work-life balance

Since you will not have to work that many hours as a parson, you will also have a pretty decent work-life balance.

In fact, most pastors report that they are pretty happy with their workload and could even work much more if needed.

Thus, if you search for a profession that gives you the opportunity to spend lots of time on your leisure and where you can also make decent money at the same time, becoming a clergyman can also make quite a lot of sense for you in this regard.

Being a pastor is more than just a job

Apart from all the other advantages of a career as a pastor, you can also really enjoy what you are doing.

In fact, most clergymen are not in their jobs for the money or for all the other nice things that come along with it.

Instead, they really want to help people and their work actually doesn’t feel like work to them.

It rather feels like a passion and a calling and priests are therefore quite happy to go to work most of the time since it just feels right to them.

As you can see, there are indeed many advantages of working as a parson.

Yet, you should still know that it is not all upside and that there are still some issues related to this career path that I want to show you in the following chapter.

Disadvantages of Working as a Priest

  1. You sometimes have to work at nighttime
  2. Pastors often have to work on weekends
  3. You have to be flexible
  4. Listening to the problems of people can get exhausting
  5. You have to speak in front of a crowd of people
  6. Teleworking will not be possible
  7. You can’t start your own business
  8. Churches are still rather conservative institutions
  9. You may be responsible to get funding
  10. You may not be allowed to marry
  11. Image of pastors has suffered in the past decades
  12. Parsons do not learn many hard skills
  13. People may make fun of you
  14. Working as a minister may become boring in the long run
  15. You may get stuck in this job for a lifetime
  16. You often need a degree for becoming a pastor

You sometimes have to work at nighttime

One problem with being a pastor is that you will often have to work in the evening.

Depending on your schedule, you may have to work during those unpleasant hours multiple times per week and this means that you will just not be able to meet up with your favorite people after work.

Moreover, while some people like working in the evening, many others don’t perform during those times that well and you may also have problems with focusing on your job due to that.

Hence, you should ask yourself whether you want to work in the evening on a regular basis before you decide for becoming a pastor since you will likely not get happy with what you are doing otherwise.

Pastors often have to work on weekends

In contrast to most other people, you will also have to work on weekends as a pastor.

In fact, most church services are done on weekends since this is the time when most other people don’t have to work.

Thus, while many other people enjoy their leisure or make nice weekend trips, you will often have to work as a parson and this can become really annoying in the long run.

You have to be flexible

Clergymen also need to be quite flexible.

Quite often, your schedule will change from one day to the other and this means that you will have to be ready to work all the time.

Moreover, people from your community may call you during unpleasant hours since they are desperately looking for help.

If you want to do good for those people in any possible way, you will have to be available 24/7 and this can be a real mental and emotional burden since you will always expect bad news from the people you care about.

Consequently, you should also not become a pastor if you don’t have this high level of flexibility to structure your day according to the wishes of your community members.

Listening to the problems of people can get exhausting

While you can really make a positive impact on the lives of many people by listening to their problems and giving them advice, it can also be really exhausting to do so in the long run.

In fact, you will always be surrounded by bad news since people will mostly come to you to seek advice during the darkest periods of their lives.

If you are not mentally strong enough to deal with these issues, you will also not be able to unplug and will often lie awake at night thinking about all the bad things that you have heard in the recent past.

Hence, before becoming a pastor, make sure to develop a stable mindset to deal with all those issues in an emotionally healthy manner.

You have to speak in front of a crowd of people

Another downside to becoming a pastor is that you will also have to speak in front of many people.

Quite often, you will have hundreds of people listening to you and this can be pretty intimidating and mentally challenging.

Of course, this also depends on the type of character you are.

If you are an outgoing person who loves the attention of others, working as a clergyman can be a great job for you.

However, if you are a rather introverted person who doesn’t want to speak in front of a huge audience, you may rather go for a different career path instead.

Teleworking will not be possible

While many other people who work in classical office jobs will also be able to work from home, you as a pastor will have to be present in person.

In turn, you will just not have the same level of flexibility when it comes to managing your professional and private life at the same time.

For instance, someone who works from home can do the laundry between two calls while you will just not be able to use your time as efficiently.

In turn, you may have to spend more time on those things after work while other people can enjoy their leisure doing more pleasant things.

You can’t start your own business

You should also be aware of the fact that it will be almost impossible for you to start your own business as a clergyman.

While this is not a problem if you are fine with the role of an employee, it can be detrimental to people who love to be their own boss and for whom starting their own business has always been a dream.

Hence, ask yourself what kind of person you are.

If you are a true entrepreneur, you should get experience in other fields so that you can start your own business sooner or later in this industry instead of becoming a pastor.

Churches are still rather conservative institutions

While church tries to become more modern, it is still a rather conservative institution and you should therefore not expect that your new and fancy ideas will be appreciated that much.

Also if you want to change things, many people will not listen to you but rather want to maintain the status quo, which can be really frustrating in the long run.

You may be responsible to get funding

Another disadvantage of working as a pastor is that you may also be responsible in terms of funding.

Churches urgently rely on donations to finance their actions and this means that you as a clergyman will often be the one who has to work on those donation campaigns.

In turn, apart from your actual work as a pastor, you will likely have some additional things to do which may eat up your leisure.

You may not be allowed to marry

In many countries, pastors also have a pretty hard time when it comes to marrying or having a family.

In fact, most pastors are not allowed to take part in those things and this can be really frustrating, especially if you always wanted to have children.

Hence, make sure that you are fine with the rules that churches impose on you in your region before going this spiritual career path.

Image of pastors has suffered in the past decades

There had also been many scandals related to the church in the past.

Thus, the image of pastors has greatly suffered over the past decade and people may therefore no longer trust you as much.

Also your social reputation may be much lower due to the mistrust and the prejudices many people might have.

Parsons do not learn many hard skills

While you will learn how to deal with people during your career as a pastor, you will still not learn many other skills.

This can become a serious problem, especially in case you want to quit your pastor career one day since you will often not have the skills required to compete in the job market.

People may make fun of you

While many people will appreciate your work, others will just make fun of you and try to bring you down for no reason.

Thus, make sure to develop a stable mindset to deal with those snarky comments in an emotionally healthy manner.

Working as a minister may become boring in the long run

If you are not really passionate about what you are doing, you may also become bored with your job as a pastor pretty soon.

Hence, make sure that that working in this field is really your passion to avoid becoming unmotivated in the long run.

You may get stuck in this job for a lifetime

Since you will not learn many skills that are valuable in the job market as a parson, you may also get stuck in this field forever.

Hence, before becoming a pastor, make sure that this is really what you want to do until retirement age to avoid unemployment and all the issues that come along with it.

You often need a degree for becoming a pastor

Becoming a pastor is also not that easy.

Quite often, you need a college degree for becoming a clergyman.

This means that you will have to spend many years on college and you will also have significant costs related to this college education.

Thus, make sure that you are willing to make this commitment before you actually decide to go for it.

Top 10 Being a Pastor Pros & Cons – Summary List

Being a Pastor ProsBeing a Pastor Cons
Pastors don’t work many extra hoursPastors often have to work at nighttime
You can enjoy decent work-life balanceYou have to listen to the problems of others
Pastors can make good moneyProblems to unplug from work
Working as a pastor is rather relaxedThere had been many scandals in the past
You can avoid physical workPeople may no longer trust you
Clergymen can work indoorsPeople may make fun of you
You can do good for othersPastors often have to work on weekends
You will value your own life much moreYou don’t learn many valuable skills
You learn how to deal with peopleHard to get out of this field
Working as a pastor can be a passionYou may get bored in the long run

Should You Become A Pastor?

Now that you know all the advantages and disadvantages of being a pastor, it is on you to decide whether you still want to go this career path or if you want to go for other jobs in the corporate world instead.

If you still want to become a clergyman or clergywoman, you should also get detailed information on the salary, future outlook, work-life balance, job satisfaction, educational requirements, duties and responsibilities of pastors.

Also make sure to check out the following articles:

Advantages and disadvantages of a career as a financial analyst

Advantages and disadvantages of a career as a professor

Advantages and disadvantages of a career as a judge

Sources

https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clergyman

https://www.statista.com/statistics/245551/number-of-ordained-clergy-serving-us-religious-parishes-by-church/

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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