"If this is a pastoral emergency, please..."
Again this week I called a congregation in our synod and instead of stating the worship times for the congregation or promoting any other program of the congregation, I was greeted with this message. Was I reaching EMS?
I would say confidently I average about one true pastoral emergency per decade. I know pastors like to say they are always on call, but in reality, I have some of the most predictable working hours of anyone I know. I also have almost total control over my schedule and I can not remember ever being accused of not working enough. Compared to others, I really have a predictable job. I sometimes think pastors have a need for people to think they are needed more than they really are.
One of the tasks of a transitional pastor is to help congregations know what pastors really do. Pastors need to be available for true emergencies but these days such emergencies are rare.