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What do megachurch pastors think about late at night when they can’t sleep? Not evangelism, outreach or impacting the community, at least not much, according to a report released in July by the Leadership Network.

In a survey of 232 pastors of large churches—congregations running more than 2,000 on a typical weekend—when asked what work-related issues caused them to lie awake at night, 19 percent said “finances,” and an additional 19 percent said “staff issues.” Only five percent said they ever lose sleep thinking about evangelism, outreach or ways to impact the community.

Also interesting in the report, which included input from pastors in 38 states and several countries, and also derived additional responses from 208 pastors of smaller churches, was the breakdown of how work hours are spent. In what is a typical 53-hour week, five hours are spent providing pastoral care; five hours are spent in prayer and meditation; and two hours are devoted to personal evangelism. A full 19 hours each week are spent in preaching, teaching and worship. Administration and meetings eat up another nine hours.

So how do senior pastors of large churches see their role? More than 80 percent described themselves as a “preacher/teacher.” Fifty percent chose the term “directional leader,” and 33 percent said their key role is “visionary.”

Of note in the survey was the influence of one of Foursquare’s own megachurch pastors—Wayne Cordeiro, senior pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu. When megachurch leaders were asked to list their most recommended books, Wayne’s Leading on Empty (Bethany House) landed in the overall listing’s top five most recommended volumes.

To download the entire survey, titled “Teacher First: Leadership Network’s 2009 Large-Church Senior Pastor Survey,” visit

By: Bill Shepson, a Foursquare credentialed minister and freelance writer in Los Angeles

is a credentialed minister and freelance editor living in Sacramento, Calif.

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