The Ballestero Blog

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When Is It A Bad Time To Call Your Pastor?

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When Is It A Bad Time To Call Your Pastor?

My father stood at the pulpit and explained his preferences to the congregation. “It’s OK to mow your yard. You don’t have to call and ask me if it’s the Lord’s will.

“Don’t call me to ask if you should change the baby’s diapers. It’s God’s will. Don’t call me to see if it’s OK if you to go to K-Mart. You don’t have to call and ask permission, it’s OK.

“Don’t call me if your cat has pups. Well, actually if your cat has pups,” He said, “Call me. I’d like to see them.”

Every pastor has been ‘blessed’ with untimely phone calls. There apparently is a button on the pastor’s behind that makes the phone ring when he sits down for a family meal. He knows what it’s like to get calls in the middle of the night as well.

Too often, phones ring 24 hours a day in a Pastor’s world. Not only does he have a house phone, his cell phone makes a tether that ties him forever to the needs of everyone.

Some callers only focus on their needs and feel like calling the Pastor is somehow equal to calling Directory Assistance. It’s there, so why not call if the thought strikes you. They feel that Pastors are paid to answer all their phone calls.

When is the best time to call? When is it ever a bad time? I would never advise someone not to call the Pastor when they really do need help. But I do ask that your Pastor’s personal life be respected.

Ask yourself:

  • Is this call an emergency?
  • Are you sick and need prayer?
  • Do you just need advice or have a question that needs to be answered?
  • Are you going on a trip and need to let him know?
  • Do you have to miss the church?

Cell phones were invented in the 1970’s. Phone Mate introduced their Answering Machine in the 70’s. Caller ID was invented about the same time. Until that time, Pastors only had house phones and if they were out, you had to wait until they came home.

Now days, we have somehow developed the idea that he is at everyone’s beck and call 24/7. No wonder the stress level in the parsonage rises above acceptable levels at times. At some Pastor’s homes, it seems the phone never stops ringing.

Society regards your Pastor as a Professional. He is treated by the outside world with deference and respect. We should do the same. Speaking of Professionals…

What hours do Professionals accept phone calls from their patients, clients or contacts?

Doctors have office hours, something like 8:30am to 4:30pm. And, do not call during lunch because it will go to directly to voicemail. After hours, your call to the good Doctor will connect you with his Answering Service. They determine if it is a worthy enough message to pass along.

Dentists have a similar setup.

Lawyers and Private Detectives follow suit.

Government Officials like State Representatives and Congressmen do the same.

Bankers, well you know about them.

Even the Mayor will get back with you in the morning.

Yet we unknowingly invade our Pastor’s personal time and rob him of family moments on a regular basis. It’s wrong and unfair. His wife and children are often robbed of one on one time with him because of the phone calls.

Please, before you pick up the cell to call or text your Pastor, look at the clock. Then ask yourself if the call is really that urgent. Can it wait? Be considerate. If it’s mealtime, don’t call at all.

If it’s after supper, realize he too enjoys his home and his family. Let him. Let him have time to rest and recoup from the day. Call him during the same hours you would call any other Professional.

A rested and strong Pastor will always be able to serve your needs better. Thank you for remembering and being considerate.

God bless you for your thoughtfulness, and God bless your Pastor.

By The Way… If you happen to have your pastor’s cell phone number or his private line at home, do NOT give it out unless he has made that number public. Guard his privacy. Thank you!

(On the other hand, I’m an Evangelist, and Evangelists are willing to receive phone calls and invitations and from Pastors any time of the day!)

Written by Martyn Ballestero

January 15, 2011 at 12:11 am

9 Responses

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  1. That was very thorough… However I do have one question.

    If I win the Lottery, is that considered an emergency?

    Jesse Morris

    January 15, 2011 at 12:34 am

    • Yes sir, that qualifies, if you are calling to pay tithes on your winnings. lol


      January 15, 2011 at 12:40 am

  2. Wonderful! As a Pastors wife I can tell you all the above is true and amen!!:)

    Marisa Hartzell

    January 15, 2011 at 9:40 am

  3. Wow very awesome Bro. Ballestero!, I agree with it all.

    Jared May

    January 15, 2011 at 11:54 am

  4. I like this, a lot. Especially the last two lines, quite so. Appreciate the time and effort you put into your blog, always makes my day to read it.

    Andrew Mays

    January 15, 2011 at 11:25 pm

  5. And all the people say “Amen!”

    Pastor Jeff Sangl

    January 18, 2011 at 12:35 pm

  6. Soooooo…WHATS YOUR number?!?! 😉 HAHAHA!!! J/K!!!


    January 20, 2011 at 6:40 pm

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