What Do Pastors Do All Week?

January 23, 2008 at 8:29 am 10 comments

If you are a pastor, has anyone ever asked you, “What do you do all week?” If you haven’t been able to before, now you have an answer. Pulpit and Pew Research on Pastoral Leadership did a study on this question and came up with the following results. The median work week for Protestant clergy is 46 hours. The following is a breakdown of the percentages:

Clergy Work Week
  1. Percentage of week spent preparing for worship and preaching – 33% – 15.18 hours
  2. Percentage of week spent providing pastoral care – 19% – 8.74 hours
  3. Percent of week spent administrating congregation’s work and attending meetings – 15% – 6.9 hours
  4. Percent of week spent teaching and training people for ministry – 13% – 5.98 hours
  5. Percent of week spent in denominational and community affairs – 6% – 2.4 hours
  6. Hours spent in prayer and meditation – 7% – 3.22 hours
  7. Hours spent reading, other than for sermons – 4% – 1.84 hours

I’d be interested in hearing what you think of this. Does this match your experience?  In general, what do you think about these numbers?

Entry filed under: United Methodist. Tags: , , .

Clergy Shortage: Perception and Reality Superbowl, Stupid Rule

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Andrew Conard  |  January 23, 2008 at 10:22 am

    Matt – Thanks again for sharing what you have read. I think that this is an interesting graph. My experience does not match up as I do not currently find myself in a role of preaching on a weekly basis.

    Ideally, I would hope that prayer, meditation and time spent reading other than for sermons would move up. I do think that preparing for worship / preaching is appropriate at number 1, but I think that teaching and training people for ministry should be number 2. Well, enough of dreaming…

  • 2. Brett  |  January 23, 2008 at 10:41 am

    What about percentage of time keeping up a blog?

  • 3. Matt  |  January 23, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    For me that comes in my “free time” and doesn’t take more than an hour or so a week. I read friends blogs and online news much like our parents would read the paper with their morning coffee.

  • 4. Read This « deeply committed  |  January 23, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    […] is on a role, because he also has a fascinating post about what pastors are doing with their time. Haven’t you always wanted to […]

  • 5. Keith  |  January 23, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Hi, Matt.

    I didn’t know if you’d seen this . . .


  • 6. Matt  |  January 23, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Great stuff Keith, and it’s probably true!

  • 7. jeff62109  |  January 27, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    I’m looking for the percentage of time pastors cast out demons, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers,and raise the dead. Anybody do that?

  • […] What Do Pastors Do All Week? Matt Judkins draws attention to some interesting research… […]

  • 9. How Do Pastors Spend Their Time Each Week?: One Thing I Know  |  February 5, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    […] to Matt for his original article «What Do Pastors Do All Week?,»  originally published on Wednesday, 23 January […]

  • 10. Read This | Vital Piety  |  May 4, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    […] is on a role, because he also has a fascinating post about what pastors are doing with their time. Haven’t you always wanted to […]


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