According to a survey by CNN Money, of the 10 jobs that carry the most stress for the pay received, 2 are found in the ministry professions —
5. Music Ministry Director
Median pay: $40,800
% who say their job is stressful: 67%
You may not think of people who plan, direct and conduct performances for religious services as being under a particularly high amount of stress. But they also choose the appropriate psalm or hymn for every wedding and funeral — only some of the most important events in a family’s life. And those stressful situations can create some demanding clients.
“Every now and then you’ll get a strange request,” said Dan Fenn, Music Ministry Director at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield, Minn. “A couple of years ago I got a request to play the Beer Barrel Polka at a funeral. You have to ask yourself, is this appropriate for a worship service?”
And coming in at number 10 —
Median pay: $45,300
% who say their job is stressful: 71%
They may answer to a higher calling, but all that spirituality does not come stress free. It’s a lot of responsibility being an authority on morality. Leading religious worship every week and providing spiritual and moral guidance can be a heavy cross to bear for those in the ministry.
“People who are deathly sick, people with substance abuse problems, things of that nature, that can be emotionally draining,” said Father Dan Skvir of Princeton, N.J. “I’ve had calls at 2 or 3 in the morning to come and attend to someone, people in imminent danger of death.”
Now, I’ve never been in either position, so I have no opinion (he says not wanting to give offense to current staff members). I just figure it has to be better in the Churches of Christ where the ministers get to wear regular clothes.