Coping With the “Part-Time Perception” (Part 3)

Last time, we talked about the second way a pastor can shatter the ‘part-time’ stereotype without compromise.

Today, we’re going to discuss the next segment in our stirring series, specifically how bivocational ministers can model efficient time management skills to church members and staff, using their part-time status as an efficient template.

Let’s be honest: It’s pretty easy to compartmentalize, whether it’s with our time, beliefs, values and/or emotions.

However, I believe most people (myself included) tend to over-compartamentalize, no doubt, a byproduct of increased distraction and distress in the time we live in.

How does this relate to the bivocational minister?

Well, let’s just say I’ve been around long enough to know what a “church game-face” looks like. And by ‘church game-face’, I mean one who sets up a wall between what happens inside and outside the church.

Granted, there’s a time to be silent and keep our wrestlings between ourselves and God. But I think it’s easy to underestimate the value in being vulnerable with the real world challenges we deal with on a daily basis.

And I think for the bivocational minister, the constant switching of gears between day job and life calling can take its toll if the opportunity to model efficient time management to fellow leaders is missed.

Thus, I submit as ministers and pastors in the body of Christ, we pursue intentionality in sharing our lives outside of church. Whether it’s a one-on-one coffee date, a post-staff meeting conversation or (dare I say) making time to actually call someone up…I contend being transparent about the ups and downs of our lives can go a long way in encouraging people where they’re at.

Why, you might ask?

Because the majority of life is experienced outside the church. And if the function of the church is to equip the saints through radical engagement with Christ, why would it make sense to “silo” the evidence of it outside the church? For we’re called to be consistently faithful, persistently perseverant and patience in well-doing (Romans 2:7), not just in the easy places, but in every setting!

Thus, if you’re a pastor or minister who spends more time in-church than out, I highly encourage you to reevaluate your priorities…and perhaps your missional pillars while you’re at it. For whatever we contend with inside church walls is only to grow the body of Christ as effective disciple-makers…in spreading the hope of glory outside them.

And true me…I know it’s easy to think ‘part-time’ is worse than ‘full-time’. I know because I’ve been one for the past five years. It can be especially challenging when you work with people who treat or view you differently simply because you don’t have the same amount of time to invest onsite.

Nevertheless, if you’re a volunteer leader, it’s imperative to not only think differently, but to value what God has called us to outside the church in an evident way.

And perhaps you’re like me and feel your day job is nothing to be proud of. Or maybe you’re burdened by your occupation’s transient tendencies. My encouragement to you is simple: don’t quit. Don’t ever let discouragement hinder you from being a light amidst the daily grind. Because not only does the real world need to experience the hope of Gospel love in the marketplace, but your fellow staff members at church need to hear about it! They need to be let in on the unique narrative being authored within you.

‘Cause truth is: when we remove the veil that separates the work of God in our lives outside the church, we allow ourselves to better edify the rest of the body inside the church.

Next time, we’ll discuss communicational strategies that can help a bivocational minister stay better connected to his/her local congregation.

Cover photo from YouthMinistry360