When clergy get together we tend to bitch about the job. So I was glad to see the RevGalBlogPals talking about the PERKS of ministry:
I think I didn't actually realize this perk until I was explaining it to someone in my former parish who was expressing sympathy about how hard it would be for me to fit in the community and get to know people at my new parish. In a small community if you are the pastor you have a fast pass in. People accept you, talk to you, want to know you, trust you and assume good things about you right away. You have an instant in. Yes there are some dangers and pitfalls and disadvantages to that but please, this is about the PERKS. I think clergy take that for granted. Don't underestimate what a gift an instant friendly community is when you have moved to a totally new place. The average Joe who moves to a new place does not have that.
FLEXIBILITY FLEXIBILITY FLEXIBILITY-- I could skate on the nearly empty noon figure skating only sessions at the local rink. I take Mondays off (and I decide what day I want to take off) but if I want to take Tuesday off and there's nothing else on the schedule, I can. This is a perk any parent can love, but I cannot begin to tell you what a Godsend this is to the single parent.
The discipline of *having* to write sermons and prepare bible studies and write devotions for the newsletter. I probably wouldn't do that stuff if I didn't have to.
Continuing Education events. Colleague groups. Text Studies. Youth Mission trips. Confirmation classes. Being part of something bigger than the local congregation.
Oh and that housing tax perk is nothing to sneeze at.
One more. Look at my picture. People are actually LISTENING TO ME.