Chuck Lawless on 9 Reasons Weddings Aren’t My Favorite Part of Pastoral Ministry

Over the next few months, I’m officiating at two weddings for my current students. I’m excited to help these young couples, but I (like other pastors I know) don’t always enjoy leading weddings. Here’s why:

  1. Weddings can be a lot of work. Typically, a wedding requires blocking out much of a weekend. If you add pre-marital counseling sessions on top of the wedding weekend, the time commitment is even greater.
  2. It’s hard for me to establish a set charge for a wedding, but I also sometimes receive nothing for my services. I fully understand why others consider weddings as simply part of a pastor’s job—and that’s one reason why I don’t set a fee—but the role does require additional work.
  3. Parents, step-parents, and other family members sometimes don’t get along. I’ve been in situations where I had to make sure that divorced parents and their families sat some distance from each other. You’d think folks would let go of their anger and animosity to support the couple, but that’s not always the case.
  4. Everything’s recorded now. That wasn’t the case when I started pastoring 38+ years ago. Back then, photographers took pictures, and only a small percentage of couples hired a videographer. Now, people record the event with their phones—and they capture any error the preacher makes. Our mistakes then go viral . . . .
  5. Everybody’s stressed at some level. You want the wedding day to be filled with excitement, but stress sometimes robs the couple of the joy they should experience that day. Everybody wants everything to be perfect – and the pressure mounts to accomplish that goal.

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Source: Church Leaders