Why Part-Time & Bivocational Aren’t the Same Thing

Have you ever wondered why some people associate bivocational with “part-time” or why others relate time to effort?

I know for me, it’s easy to perceive the answers through a marketplace lens; however, when we talk about bivocational ministers, we ultimately discover a new lens altogether.

First off, when I say “part-time” in a ministerial context, I’m referring to pastors who balance multiple “full-time” loads inside and outside the church. The specifics may differ, but in general, a part-time pastor is a bivocational pastor who has accepted two or more vocations.

shutterstock_202214332_0With that said, I strongly believe pastors should never be labeled “part-time” since it’s not possible to limit pastoral responsibilities to 20 hours a week…not to mention the term is widely misunderstood.

Cause truth is: Regardless if a pastor is bivocational or not, every pastor is (or should be) on call 24/7.

True, it may be hard for some to be “on call” depending on their job’s requirements; however, just because a pastor may juggle multiple jobs doesn’t mean he lacks the time or energy to put in a full-time effort at church. Rather, it simply means he has to be resourceful in how he stewards his time, whether investing in rest and family at designated intervals or temporarily sacrificing personal conveniences to develop people and new skill sets.

At the end of the day, whether a minister is bivocational by choice or necessity (i.e. financial limitations and/or a specific seasonal call of God), the point is “part-time” pastors still carry full-time responsibilities.

And in a time when living costs are increasing and church membership is decreasing, the reality is bivocational ministers are becoming more essential in leading the church while modeling its purpose outside of it.

No wonder many bivocational pastors consider their greatest call to be on call regardless of where they’re at.

Stay tuned next time when we’ll dive into a brand new series on bivocational profiles.

Cover photo from www.bivocationalpastor.com and www.sojo.net

There’s an App for That: Trello

trello-blogOur next app to help make your ministry more efficient: Trello.

Trello is a great web based collaboration tool that makes project planning and execution a breeze. Whether you are working solo or with a team, Trello can help you organize your thoughts, tasks and resources in a streamlined and easy to use format. This tool possesses amazing visibility and cross collaboration features that will make planning any event or researching any project sail by. Features include but are not limited to:

  • Project specific boards
  • Task Cards
  • Sub-lists/check lists
  • Ability to assign to others
  • Card subscription so you are always in the know
  • Status bars and color coordination
  • Easy user interface
  • Drag and Drop
  •  Attachments (pictures, documents, etc)

How can Trello be used in a ministry arena? Here are 3 real life use cases for Trello.

1. Event Planning

Do you have a team working together to plan a summer camp? Are different people working on multiple tasks? Create a board for your even and share it with your team. Trello allows for a “swim lane” view of tasks. By creating an initial “List”, you can get a good picture of each over arching task that needs to be done by creating a “card” for individual items. Each team member can then have their own “List”. Once someone takes over a task, they move the card to their “list”.  Create a final “List” titled Complete, where team members can move finished tasks to. There you have it-an easy visual of what needs to be done, who is working on what and what has been completed. Picture staff meetings with this kind of simplicity.

2. Congregant Follow Up

Because of the simple structure of Trello, you can create a board for just about anything. Maybe you want to help yourself keep track of the people you minister to. Create a “directory” board. Next, make a list and add a card for each person. You can upload a picture, input a phone number, keep notes, etc. Next, create lists for each day of the week. Drag the people you want to contact with on Monday to the “Monday” list. Do this for each person you are contacting for the week. Using the check list option on the card, you can keep track of who you have contacted and any outstanding notes.

3. Music Archive 

That’s right bivocational Worship Pastor’s, this one’s for you. Set up your “Worship” board. Create a list titled “Songs” and create a card for each song in your musical tool box. Upload chord sheets/music/lyrics as attachments. Create a second list titles “Current Set List”. Once you decide on a song, drag it over to the list. Are you super efficient-you can work out as many weeks ahead as you like. Invite your team to view the board. They can download their music, review the set list and be ready before anyone shows up for practice. You can even make notes on the song on who is singing lead or playing keys.

There you have it. Simple and efficient. Head over to Tello.com and sign up for free today.

Next time: Slack

Your Turn: Have you used Trello in your ministry? How do you currently facilitate these types of activities? Share in the comments below.