I’ve watched our senior pastor handle a lot of tasks that one would expect of a senior pastor: preaching, teaching, counseling, fundraising, grief care, church leadership, etc. But I remember one particular job he did that threw me for a loop. Soon after I arrived, I was working in our youth area when he came down the hall with a plunger. He disappeared into one of our bathrooms and came out a few minutes later with his sleeves rolled up and his normally-pristine hair thrown askew.
Turns out this was a regular task for him each week. He knew the building. He knew the problems associated with it. He knew the unseen needs associated with it. And even though it wasn’t in his job description, even though he had advanced degrees and dressed the part of the senior pastor, he did what needed to be done and received zero recognition for it.
This year, my job has leaned heavily on that cryptic line in every job description: other duties as assigned. I’m still doing youth ministry. I’m still writing sermons and working with small groups. I’m still recruiting and training volunteers. But since change has come to the way we’re doing church, I’ve added a few things to that list. I’m the live-stream director for Sunday mornings because I did a lot of troubleshooting last spring in our student ministry. I record, edit, and publish a lot more video content throughout the week. I help provide vision for the church and help our pastor bring his vision for the whole church to life. The scope of my ministry has broadened because of those “other duties as assigned.”
I know I’m not alone in this. Most churches don’t have so many staff members that everyone can stay in their lane. We’re all doing more than our search committee hired us to do. And since so much of that work is behind the scenes, I struggle to do that work without recognition. I often have to return to Jesus’ warning in Matthew 6.
Be encouraged that the God of the universe sees the work you’re doing, even if the 55+ ministry isn’t seeing it. Know that there is a reward for your work, even if the reward doesn’t come from the finance committee. And if you’re struggling with this, let us know in the comments so we can pray with you that you’ll feel the presence of God while you’re plunging toilets or rewiring the network or repairing the ping pong tables, or working through one of those “other duties as assigned.”