What Does the Church Staff Do All Week?? Not Much, Apparently…



I’m on church staff. I do churchy duties throughout the week. I promise.

But if this post gets out, I might lose my job.

What exactly are these churchy duties? It’s pretty sad…

Most church members might be a little suspicious of some chump that just stands in front of people on Sundays and sings, occasionally waving his arms for the choir. “Anyone can do that,” they might think. “We’re paying this guy a living wage? For THAT?!”


“What’s he do the REST of the week?!”

Not much, actually.

Here are 8 things I do throughout the week–on my full-time-church-tithe-paid-SoCal salary:


1. I Watch YouTube Videos. 

There. I said it. It’s out. Confession is good for the soul.

I do. But let me explain. It’s all for the ministry.

Every year, our teens host a “Comedy Night” of entertaining skits for our church people. We sell tickets and prepare a light meal and a 45-minute skit show. We unashamedly rip off the best skits from across the Great Plains of the Internet, transcribing and adapting the video scripts to meet our needs. So yes, I spend some of my time on YouTube.

It’s called research!


2. I Listen To Music.

I know I shouldn’t be wasting time listening to music of all things. I know it.

But I just… have to.

I know I could be listening to sermons or an audio Bible, but… but… sometimes I just… HAVE to listen to music.

I know it doesn’t make me smarter or maybe it’s not the best use of time, but I still listen to music.

A waste? Maybe. But I have to do it.

No, really. I have to. It’s my job. I’m the music director, and part of my job is to look for new music. So I have to, like, listen to it first.

A while back, I listened all day to various choir songs in preparation for an upcoming meeting we are hosting at our church. We have a new theme each night, and I was trying to find the perfect song to match each theme. Wow. That took a while.

But when we are trying to do things well and right, sometimes it takes listening to and purchasing music for choir. Sometimes all day.

Glad that’s over. I’m exhausted.


3. I Listen To Podcasts. 

Secular ones, too. Really!

I pop in my white, secular earbuds and walk around in my faded, secular jeans and listen on my secular Apple phone to secular business podcasts. The non-preaching kinds of podcasts. And audiobooks. On company time.

The church members are saying, “I knew it, I knew it! That two-bit good-fer-nothin’ little… He’s robbing God!”

Well, here’s the truth: I only listen to podcasts and audiobooks when I’m doing something else–like yard work. My dad (pastor) and I spend a half or full day a week doing maintenance-type stuff (usually on Fridays), so while I’m tinkering with an electrical ballast in the light fixture, I’m also learning about being a better leader or handling my finances wisely.


4. I Go To Starbucks or In-N-Out.

You know, sometimes all those YouTube videos and podcasts wear me out. When I need a break from clicking play and pause (it’s tough, okay?)–sometimes smack in the middle of my day–I’ll leave the office and head to Starbucks. Or In-n-Out. It depends on my emotional needs at the time.

Yep. Really.

Usually, though, I’m hitting up the drive-through with a gift card someone gave me.

And, usually, it’s a Starbucks trip WITH someone and FOR someone. I have found that I’m a better counselor when I’m shoulder-to-shoulder out DOING something rather than face-to-face in my office TALKING about something.

For example, I picked up a guy on my way to the smog test site with our church bus (an annual CA emissions thing). I was out running errands already–might as well make it a 2-for-1 special: visitation AND bus maintenance. I had been given two Starbucks coupons, good for two coffee drinks, so we took advantage.

One of my graduating guys was going off to a military college, so we had his final meal at this Californian’s favorite burger joint: In-n-Out (haters, back off.) It was like his last rite before departing to a far worse land–a land of snow and coldness. It was spiritual–I encouraged him to establish his Christian testimony early, stay in church, read his Bible, pray publicly for his meals, and remain pure in a secular college.

Ministry at In-n-Out? I’m okay with that. I’m a youth pastor. It’s what I do.


5. I Doodle. 

I’ll just sit and my desk and doodle and draw–sometimes about nothing. Wasting time… just doodling. Filling page after page with drawings and doodles.


Time-waster, they’ll call me.

Well, I have an excuse.

Some of my ministry is done with this newfangled tech gadget called the telephone. Did you know that someone made a device that you can TALK into and HEAR what someone else is saying at the same time?! Crazy, I know.

To keep up with congregants, this contraption is brilliant. I’ll have drawn out (no pun intended) conversations with crazies (why do they call churches?), or I’ll check up on doctor visits for my choir members. Sometimes a call about a schedule change turns into an impromptu prayer service for dear Bro. So&So and his ailments, with me doodling details all the time. It’s a win-win!

Or, sometimes the doodles are ministry-related. I had a teen who was a huge Lego fan. I am too. For his birthday card, instead of using a pre-made card, I tried to make him feel special by sketching out the words Happy Birthday in letters that looked like Lego blocks. He thought that was pretty cool.

And, it was fun for me. Legos, doodling, and a teen receiving a birthday card? That’s a win-win-win triple crown.


6. I Post On Social Media.

Some companies outlaw social media. Not my church. Maybe they should, since I’m posting stuff throughout the day.

Well, maybe that’s all part of my long-term strategy, too.

Honestly, though, most of my social media presence is meant to encourage people in some way. Whether it’s through sharing a good article or getting a laugh by poking fun at a buddy’s hairline, every post is intentionally shared to help someone, somewhere.

That’s ministry.

Even when it’s retweeting a joke.


7. I Go Hiking.

We have some killer weather here in Southern California. In Temecula, especially (I think San Diego is cold!) Most days I can truck outside in my flat-front khakis and blue Old Navy boat shoes and the weather is perfect for a hike.

It’s not exactly hiking so much as power-walking.

I save myself the gym membership fees by walking outdoors. I’d rather breathe fresh air than Joey Macho’s pit-sweat any day.

So, on any given day, pastor and I will go hiking. Have you seen joggers carry those little 5-pound dumbbells? We carry weights to help bulk up our arms, too. We call them tract-packs, and they’re little bundles of paper with our church’s picture on them.

The exercise is usually easy enough–an hour of sidewalk walking, going door to door, inviting people to church and gicing them the Gospel.

When you consider the driveways, sidewalks and steps up to people’s doors, it’s quite a hike.

And we don’t even have to pay for it.


8. I Play On Computers.

Yep. Play, play, play. On computers. Sometimes all day.

Occasionally I watch the Apple TV, or stream something on the hi-def big screen in the sanctuary.

It’s the good life, the tech life is. Always surrounded by gadgets. Screens. Technology to make your life easier.

Unless, of course, you are stuck in the 128-degree attic running Cat-5 blue network cable over and under the 3-foot air ducts, trying not to fall through the ceiling. Or, unless, of course, you are troubleshooting your network connection for the 5th hour that day. Or unless, of course, you are on hold with your phone and internet provider, trying your hardest to remember that you are representing your church.

Oh yes. I PLAY on computers. Never.

Usually it’s a mad rush to someone’s office to cycle through the power buttons and plugs, flipping every on/off switch you can find until the problem somehow disappears.

“My hero!” they say when their computer is fixed.

“I don’t even know what I did,” you think, but smile, and accept the compliment graciously.



So there you have it… all the things that really go on behind the scenes.

Now if I were to write about the senior pastor’s duties… wow… now there’s a lazy guy. All he has to do is just get up and talk for like 30 minutes on Sundays and his whole job is done for the week.

I wish I had HIS job. Then my life would be easy.

I guess I’ll keep suffering as an Associate.

Back to the grind.

*opens YouTube