12 Excellent (and Appropriate) Hobbies for Pastors

Best hobbies and interests for pastors

Finding a great hobby as a pastor can be a challenge. If you are busy, it can be difficult to justify taking time off to engage in hobbies.

However, hobbies can enrich your personal life as well as your ministry.

In this article, I have compiled a list of 12 enjoyable, pastor-friendly hobbies that will fit in nicely with your ministry work as a pastor. These hobbies will help you to:

  • Recharge and relax after a draining day or a hectic week.
  • Develop unique ways of spreading the gospel.
  • Connect with your congregation in a less formal setting.
  • Be fit and healthy.
  • Appreciate God’s wonderful creations even more.
  • Regain the joy in life you had as a kid before responsibilities became too many.
  • Find something to do during holidays or sabbaticals.

If you struggle with the feeling that hobbies are a waste of time and money that would have been better spent elsewhere, I suggest you take a look at my article on Should Christians Have Hobbies?

What are good hobbies for Pastors?

The following are 12 great hobbies for pastors. They are cheap to start and easy to learn.

1. Blogging

70% of churches have 100 or fewer weekly attendees (source). This means that it is getting increasingly difficult to spread the gospel in church alone. To be effective, you need to go online. Even with a small blog, you can reach 5,000 to 10,000 people every month.

There are several ways you can get into blogging.

  • You can have your sermons recorded and then transcribed and posted on your blog.
  • You can expand journal entries or bible study notes into a blog post.
  • You can get church members to share their testimonies on your blog.

How to get started with blogging

If you are interested in starting a successful blog for your ministry, here are some resources that will teach you everything about blogging.

2. YouTube

YouTube has opened up opportunities for anyone who wants to spread a message or an idea. If you wish to spread the gospel, it is a medium you can take advantage of.

YouTube is the equivalent of having your own TV station (i.e. your channel) for free. In the past, you had to pay a lot of money and jump through hoops to get your message across but today, that power is a click away.

To get started, you can have your sermons recorded and uploaded on YouTube. Many churches these days have a YouTube channel dedicated to sermons or praise and worship.

Alternatively, you can create a personal YouTube channel (for example, in a vlog format) where you can be more personal. Here, you can afford to let loose, have fun and let others into your life. A personal YouTube channel is a great way to minister in an informal way.

3. Journaling

Journaling is probably one of the most powerful tools anyone can have. We get many ideas throughout the day and we promptly forget the vast majority of them. Having a system to capture those ideas is therefore crucial. Journaling can help you do that.

Journaling can also help you to think through and expand on the ideas you captured. Not all ideas are useful or important. Reflecting and writing about an idea can help you see how it fits in your life and how you can take advantage of it to make your life and those of others better.

As a pastor, if you get into the habit of regular journaling, it can make the process of creating sermons quick, interesting, creative, and fun.

You can start journaling in a diary or you can do it electronically using a blog.

4. Reading

Reading is an essential activity for pastors. If you don’t have fresh ideas coming in, your sermons may start to get repetitive and stale. Reading the bible is, of course, paramount. It is also important to read about history, philosophy, science, or whatever other topics you enjoy.

Reading has other advantages such as:

  • It can provide a welcome distraction from TV and social media.
  • It can provide a good example for your kids; helping them to get into reading early in life.

To get started with reading, get yourself a library card. If you find that you don’t have time to read, try audiobooks. You can listen to books as you do something else.

5. Languages

Learning a foreign language can help you in your efforts to spread the word of God. This is especially important if you intend to spend some of your time doing mission work.

Think of a place you have always wanted to visit and find out what languages they speak. You can use this as a basis for starting to learn a language. If you can speak English, French, and Spanish, you can get by in most countries in the world.

Learning languages has many other benefits. For example, it can help improve your memory and attention span. It can also help you bond better with people from different cultures.

6. Camping

best hobbies for pastors: camping
Camping is a great way to appreciate God’s creation

If you feel like you need to get away from it all, you should consider camping. When you are out there in the wilderness, you can sort through your emotions and problems without the distractions of daily living.

Camping can also help you to appreciate the beauty and grandeur of nature. This is something that we rarely get to do especially if we live in the city.

Regular camping can also enrich your life in many other ways including better sleep, exercise, better breathing, and improved mood. Camping is also a gateway hobby to many other hobbies like fishing, bird watching, hiking, and stargazing.

7. Walking

Walking is a great hobby for stress relief, fitness, and socializing.  The average US adult spends about 6.5 hours sitting down. Too much sitting is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes among many other ills.

Incorporating walking into your lifestyle is easy to do. Experts recommend taking around 10,000 steps a day. If you don’t know how many steps you take in a day, get yourself a Fitbit and start tracking. You may be surprised at how little walking you actually do.

8. Gardening

Gardening can help to get you outside and away from the computer. It is a great way to relax, especially if you like getting your hands dirty.

Gardening will help you get some needed exercise while growing healthy, nutritious fruits and vegetables that you can use to keep disease at bay.

The great thing about gardening is that it can be done on any size of land. If you only have access to a balcony, you can consider creating a potted garden. Alternatively, you can garden on church land or team up with someone who has some land.

9. Playing a Music Instrument

For centuries, we have used music to encourage, admonish, comfort, or educate people. It is a powerful tool for ministry because it helps to reach a part of the soul that is difficult to reach through logical arguments.

It may take time, effort, and sometimes money to learn how to play an instrument but the benefits to your personal, creative, social, and professional life are immense.

Even if you think that you are the most musically challenged person, there is always one instrument that you can master. Try out different ones to see which suits you best.

10. DIY

best hobbies for pastors: diy
A DIY skill is great for saving money and serving others

There are many Do It Yourself (DIY) skills that you can learn. They are not only fun but they can help in improving your creativity and bonding with others. They can also help you save money or make some extra income on the side.

Working with your hands can also help you to detach from excessive thinking. If you find yourself under pressure and prone to unhealthy thinking habits, pick up a DIY activity.

Some of the DIY skills you can learn include car maintenance, basic plumbing, upholstery, knitting, bike repair, and interior décor.

For ideas on DIY projects you can start, check out my article on the best DIY hobbies. In the article, I also provide learning resources for DIY skills.

11. Puppetry

Ministering to young children can be hard work but it is important that you do it well. If a child learns solid Christian principles early on in life, these principles will provide guidance and comfort for the rest of their lives.

Puppets can help you to teach children in a fun and engaging way. By bringing bible stories and characters to life through puppets, you can make Sunday school a memorable experience.

If you want to exercise your creative side, you can make your own puppets. This is also something you can do with your own kids or the kids in church.

To get started with puppetry, choose the kind of puppets you want to work with. Some of the more popular puppets are hand puppets, marionettes, ventriloquist puppets, and shadow puppets.

12. Astronomy/Stargazing

The heavens display the wonders of God’s creation. It is hard to look at the night sky and not get awed. Stargazing is a great way to soak in this majesty.

Looking at the heavens can also help you to put the cares and struggles of this world in perspective. You realize that if God can bring the universe into existence, he can solve whatever challenges you are going through.

You can also use stargazing as a way to share your faith. For example, you can form an astronomy club at the church. This can help you reach an audience that may not be interested in church activities.

Final Thoughts

Hobbies can greatly enrich your life as a pastor. Try and find time for a hobby even if you feel like you are too busy.

If you feel that getting a hobby will take up too much of your time, try choosing a hobby that you can also use in your ministry. With a bit of creativity, you can come up with a bigger list than I have provided.

Further reading

You might also enjoy the following articles.