It’s business AND it’s personal


Remember that scene from The Godfather?  Don Corleone has just been hit.  Michael, Sonny, Tom, and the Corleone gang, are trying to figure out how to settle the score.  Michael, the cleancut college kid and war hero, volunteers to kill the guys responsible.  Sonny chides Michael for letting it get “personal.”  To which Michael replies, “It’s not personal, Sonny, it’s strictly business.”  Great movie!

But, that’s not my point.  My point is — for pastors it’s business AND it’s personal.  Our work is not just our job, it’s our calling, our passion, our heart.  We do what we do, not just to make a living, but because we cannot live without doing it.

The downside is, it’s hard to turn it off.  When our work is our hobby and our job and our passion, life can get a little confused.   I’m trying to create space in my routine that separates the work of ministry from other things in my life.   I joined Debbie in the garden this year, which is totally different from anything I’ve ever done.   Working in the garden has given me a new perspective on how life unfolds, and is a great stress-reliever itself.

So, when the lines get blurred between your life and your work, remember:  it’s both business and personal.  Which reminds me of my other favorite Godfather quote from Hyman Roth — “This is the business we have chosen…”

3 thoughts on “It’s business AND it’s personal”

  1. Good points, Chuck. I’ve often thought that the best combination for a pastor is “introvert with people skills and a burden for his flock” because, in the true definition, an introvert is not shy or anti-social but someone who is re-energized by time alone. This makes for a guy more apt to get in his study to do adequate prep, but also a guy who will find hobbies or projects to keep him from being swallowed by his work.

    The best hobbies for pastors, in my view, are the ones that can be done alone, or mostly alone– but also allow others to join in. Gardening is a good one. So are hunting, fishing, woodworking, cycling, running, auto mechanics. Activities like golf and tennis are sort of the inverse– usually done with others, but you can do them alone too.

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