Coping with the “Part-Time Perception”: Part 1

Let’s be honest.

We don’t look at part-time ministers the same way we look at full-time ministers.

Not like it’s hard to see why…considering most people assume what a part-time pastor lacks, whether time, energy, availability or a M. Div, ultimately handicaps a church.

But truth is: while many invest in the idea that a church’s functionality, effectiveness and spiritual authenticity is tied to religious qualifications and reputation…this couldn’t be further from the truth.

And while it can be difficult for a part-timer to deal with the stereotypes, there are ways to cope with them in holy fashion.

For instance, a part-time minister can…

  • Demonstrate healthy prioritizing by making time to love people (internally through staff mentoring and externally through Isaiah 58-type ministries).
  • Model efficient time management skills to church members and staff.
  • Exercise honest leadership to motivate effective conflict and executive/administrative management.
  • Lay an ignitable foundation for compassion and conviction to occur among the congregation.
  • Teach believers how to be effective disciple-makers in occupational settings.

Of course, there are other strategies and approaches that can be utilized.

But at any rate, it’s important for bivocational and/or part-time ministers to not look down on their calling, just because it doesn’t fit a certain mold or look like what the church world says it should.

Thus, in the months ahead, we will discuss four ways a bivocational minister can rightfully deal with the ‘part-time perception’, whether it’s with the stigma itself or the actual process of juggling multiple responsibilities. We’ll also talk about the dangers of striving mentalities and why it’s wrong to think ministerial leadership and success is based solely on educational status and congregation size.

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