What Hobbies Should Pastors Have?: A Guide to Balancing Work and Play

As a pastor, your job is to serve your congregation and spread the word of God.

However, it’s important to remember that you are also a human being with your own interests and hobbies.

See Also: How to Find a Hobby for Working Professionals

Taking time for yourself and engaging in activities that bring you joy can actually make you a better pastor.

So, What Hobbies Should Pastors Have?

There are many hobbies that pastors can enjoy, ranging from creative pursuits like journaling, writing, or puppetry to outdoor activities like camping, walking, or stargazing. Playing a musical instrument or learning a new language can also be a great way to unwind and expand your horizons. Whatever your interests may be, it’s important to find a hobby that allows you to recharge and connect with yourself outside of your pastoral duties.

Why Hobbies are Important for Pastors

As a pastor, you might feel like you’re always on the clock.

Between sermon preparation, counseling sessions, and church events, it can be hard to find time for yourself.

However, taking time for hobbies can actually be beneficial for both you and your congregation. Here are some reasons why:

Four Benefits of Having Hobbies

1. Refreshes Your Mind

When you’re constantly focused on ministry, it can be easy to get burnt out.

Having a hobby can help you refresh your mind and give you a break from the demands of pastoral work.

Whether it’s reading, hiking, or playing an instrument, taking time to do something you enjoy can help you come back to your work with renewed energy and focus.

2. Improves Your Physical Health

Many hobbies involve physical activity, which can be a great way to improve your physical health.

Whether it’s running, cycling, or playing a sport, getting active can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases, and improve your overall well-being.

3. Provides Balance

As a pastor, it’s important to model a balanced life for your congregation.

Having hobbies can show them that you value more than just your work, and that you prioritize taking care of yourself.

Additionally, having a hobby can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance, which can prevent burnout and help you be more effective in your ministry.

4. Promotes Mental Health

Taking time for hobbies can also be beneficial for your mental health.

Engaging in activities that you enjoy can help reduce stress and anxiety, and promote feelings of happiness and well-being.

Additionally, hobbies can provide a sense of accomplishment and purpose outside of your work, which can be beneficial for your overall sense of self-worth.

THREE Hobbies that Foster Growth in Faith

As a pastor, it’s important to have hobbies that foster growth in your faith.

These hobbies can help you stay connected to God and the gospel while also providing a much-needed break from the demands of ministry.

Here are a few hobbies that can help you grow in your faith:

1. Reading and Studying the Bible

Reading and studying the Bible is an essential part of growing in your faith.

As a pastor, you likely spend a lot of time studying the Bible for your sermons and teachings, but it’s important to also take time to read and study the Bible for your own personal growth.

Make it a habit to read a chapter or two of the Bible each day, and take notes on what you learn.

You can also join a Bible study group or attend a Bible study class at your church to deepen your understanding of the scripture.

2. Listening to Christian Music

Listening to Christian music is another great way to grow in your faith.

Christian music can help you connect with God on a deeper level and provide a source of inspiration and encouragement.

Create a playlist of your favorite Christian songs and listen to it while you’re driving, exercising, or doing chores around the house.

You can also attend Christian concerts or music festivals to experience the power of live worship.

3. Fishing and Spending Time in Nature

Fishing and spending time in nature can also be a great way to grow in your faith.

Being in nature can help you feel closer to God and appreciate the beauty of his creation.

Fishing can also provide a sense of peace and relaxation, which can help you reflect on your relationship with God.

Consider taking a fishing trip with other pastors or members of your church, or simply spend some time hiking or camping in the great outdoors.

Provides a sense of peace and relaxationRequires access to a body of water or nature area
Allows for reflection on your relationship with GodCan be physically demanding
Can be done alone or with othersRequires some equipment and preparation

Three Hobbies that Promote Rest and Recharge

As a pastor, you are constantly pouring out to others.

That’s why it’s important to have hobbies that promote rest and recharge.

Here are some hobbies that can help you relax and rejuvenate:

1. Gardening and Connecting with Nature

Gardening is a great way to get outside and connect with nature. It allows you to slow down and focus on something other than your ministry.

Plus, there’s something therapeutic about getting your hands dirty and watching something grow.

Consider starting a vegetable garden or planting some flowers. You don’t need a lot of space to get started.

Even a small container garden can be a great way to get started. Not only will you enjoy the fresh produce and beautiful blooms, but you’ll also get some exercise and fresh air.

2. Physical Exercise and Maintaining Health

Regular physical exercise is important for maintaining your physical health and mental well-being.

It can also help you manage stress and anxiety.

Consider taking up a hobby that involves physical activity such as running, hiking, or swimming.

If you prefer something more low-impact, yoga or tai chi can be a great way to relax and stretch your muscles.

You can even do these activities from the comfort of your own home by following along with online videos.

3. Social Media and Building Community

Social media can be a great way to connect with others and build community.

Consider starting a blog or podcast where you can share your thoughts and insights with others.

You can also use social media to connect with other pastors and ministry leaders.

Just be sure to set boundaries and limit your time on social media. It’s important to disconnect and take a break from technology from time to time.

GardeningConnect with nature, fresh produce, exercise
Physical exerciseManage stress, maintain health
Social mediaBuild community, connect with others

Three Hobbies that Benefit Family and Ministry

As a pastor, it’s important to have hobbies that not only benefit you but also your family and ministry.

Here are some ideas for hobbies that can help you serve the Lord together with your family, find purpose, and balance your responsibilities as a church leader and spouse.

1. Serving the Lord Together with Family

One way to involve your family in your ministry is by finding hobbies that you can do together.

For example, you could start a family Bible study or prayer group.

You could also volunteer together at a local charity organization or plan a mission trip.

2. Variety of Interests and Finding Purpose

Having a variety of interests can help you find purpose and prevent burnout.

Consider hobbies that challenge you mentally, physically, and spiritually. For example, you could take up photography, hiking, or learn a new language.

These hobbies can help you grow as a person and give you a sense of accomplishment outside of your ministry.

3. Balancing Responsibilities as a Church Leader and Spouse

Finding balance between your ministry and personal life can be challenging.

Hobbies can help you disconnect from work and spend quality time with your spouse.

Consider hobbies that you both enjoy, like cooking, gardening, or dancing.

These hobbies can help you strengthen your relationship and recharge your batteries.

Here’s a table with some examples of hobbies that can benefit your family and ministry:

Bible studySpiritual growth
VolunteeringCommunity involvement
PhotographyCreative expression
HikingPhysical exercise
Language learningMental stimulation
CookingQuality time with spouse
GardeningStress relief
DancingRelationship building

Remember, the key to finding the right hobby is to choose something that you enjoy and that aligns with your values. By finding hobbies that benefit your family and ministry, you can lead a more fulfilling and balanced life.


In summary, pastors should have hobbies that help them relax, recharge, and grow as individuals.

Hobbies provide a much-needed break from the demands of ministry and can help pastors become more effective in their roles. Here are some key takeaways to keep in mind:

Hobbies should be enjoyable and fulfilling.Choose activities that you genuinely enjoy and that give you a sense of accomplishment or satisfaction.
Hobbies should be balanced with your ministry responsibilities.Don’t let your hobbies interfere with your ability to fulfill your pastoral duties.
Hobbies should be diverse.Try to engage in a variety of activities that challenge you mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Hobbies should be shared with others.Participating in hobbies with friends, family, or other members of your congregation can help build relationships and foster community.

Remember, having hobbies is not a luxury, but a necessity for pastors.

By taking time to engage in activities outside of ministry, you can reduce stress, improve your mental and physical health, and become a more well-rounded individual.

So, whether it’s journaling, gardening, or stargazing, find a hobby that works for you and make it a regular part of your routine.

Additional Hobbies For Working Professionals

Aerospace EngineersBarista
BartendersBiomedical Engineers
Civil EngineerClerk
Data AnalystData Entry Operator
EnvironmentalistsEvent Planners
Financial AnalystFirefighters
Flight AttendantFull Time Workers
Health Care WorkersHR Professionals
MusiciansNight Shift Workers
NursesOffice Workers
PastorsPersonal Trainer
Police OfficersPoliticians
Project ManagerPublic Administration
Safety OfficerSoftware Engineers
TeachersTeachers in the Summer
VeterinariansVirtual Assistant
Work from HomeWriters