Bivocational Profile: Papa Pastor

Meet Pastor Aaron. Pastor Aaron is the college ministry pastor at Your Community Church and assists the body by nurturing relationships and spiritual growth within the college and young adult communities. Having cultivated a committed track record over the years, Aaron is finally reaping the fruit of his faithful service.

However, this year, Aaron is having a much harder time delegating ministerial care, overseeing interns, and finding time to provide ministerial awareness and vision to the entire church in light of rookie paternal responsibilities and a more demanding work environment at the digital marketing company in which he serves. With more hours devoted to new work assignments and baby care, Aaron is suddenly struggling to make ends meet as efficiently as he once did.

Granted, Aaron still works with the same kind of integrity, leadership, and stewardship as in seasons past. The problem now is Aaron struggles to find time for the little things…remembering to make certain phone calls, responding to e-mails, making every staff meeting, and following up with team members with whom he’s had to rely more heavily on.

As a result, his students (and their parents) are feeling the early stages of disconnectedness. While Aaron preaches and shows up to personal events whenever he can, the downtick in occurrences, while understandable, is beginning to manifest in lower attendance rates due to the notable drop-off in ministerial effectiveness between Aaron and his subordinates who have stepped up in his place.

Thus, Aaron is starting to wrestle with hopelessness that he can tie loose ends in the face of tighter ultimatums at work and ‘at home’ priorities occupying once-vacant ministry opportunities.

Aaron has a devoted wife who works at a local bakery and thrives ministering alongside him. When he’s not working in church or out, Aaron enjoys hitting the tee at local golf courses as well and the lake on his wakeboard.

Challenges:

  • More time spent on work + family matters = limited availability/in-person interaction with staff/team members/church attendees
  • Has little time to directly develop and mentor
  • Over-reliance on delegating (and forgetfulness to follow-up) leading to cracks in the communicational infrastructure
  • Hopeless and inferiority

Opportunities:

  • Is able to inspire others by a relentless and disciplined work ethic
  • Has stable job to provide for family
  • Brings joy to his family and those within his inner circle watching him grow and mature in new roles
  • Relates better with those in his demographic
  • Is gifted in building meaningful connections with people wherever he’s at

The challenge is real, and so are the opportunities. Do you fit into this profile? What are some other challenges or opportunities you have encountered? Share in the comments below.

Photo credits: Odyssey Online

Hold on to Your Why (Intro)

It amazes me  how intertwined our lives are. As mentioned in a previous blog, whenever I learn about a new app at work geared toward organization or collaboration, my first instinct is how I can I use this at/for church. As a new mom, it is encouraging to see this overlap yet again.

When I was pregnant with Caeden, I had a goal of a natural pregnancy and birth. I refused drugs to help my horrendous morning sickness and turned to ginger ale and Altoids instead (to all my ministry mamas out there…Altoids = God send). I enrolled in a Bradley birthing class, which my champ of a husband attended with me for twelve long weeks. At this point, many of you may be asking why? Which is my point today.

Why?

A friend of mine once said, “If you lose your why, you lose your way.”

Why was I able to endure the worst kind of ongoing sickness I have every experienced for over three months? Why was I able to embrace a pain that society has raised me to fear and do everything within my power to negate? Why? Because of my son. Because I wanted him to have the best start to life that I could give him. Because the importance of my goal was bigger than my momentary desire for relief. My “Why” was firmly in place.

After walking this path, I am amazed at how much the birthing process is like ministry. With a heart full of love, we embark on a journey, armed with dreams and hopes for the future. We dream of people being reached and God being glorified. Inevitably, the sickness comes. We endure, we go on, but we eventually get tired and become aware that there is an option to find relief-be it quitting, putting up walls or giving in to our now jaded vision. For the bi-vocational, this is doubly the case.  In the middle of it all, it is easy to lose site of the end goal, the dream we embraced as we started down our path. If we do, eventually, we will lose our “Why”. If we lose our why, it is only a matter of time until we lose our way and drift from the course we have already given so much to travel.

In the middle of labor, I had to remember my why.

As you are birthing the dream and calling that God has placed in you-remember your why. Remind yourself regularly. Don’t be content to just go through the motions, because when push comes to shove, only your why will deliver your destiny.

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.” ~ 2 Thessalonians 1:11

Over the next few posts we will explore some practical ways to hold on to your Why.

What is your why in ministry? Share it in the comments and let’s pray and encourage each other while it is still today 🙂

I’m back….

I know, I know…surely I have been captured by carnies and now have a career juggling on the high wire. Not quite. My absence has, in fact, been the result of something that is just as impactful and requires lots of balance and juggling.

I became a mom.

I became a mom by going through somewhat of a rough pregnancy that severely inhibited my ability to focus and write and do much outside of my daily requirements (and those were a stretch). No joke, I blew through all but two of my PTO days by November…and they reset every year in July.

I have learned so much through the process, let me tell you. And I am truly excited to get back into the swing of things. I never realized how being a parent would give the other aspects of my life a whole new depth.

Thank you for your patience, in my absence and as I jump back in (warning…I may reference my son/being a mom in ministry, etc a whole lot). A huge thanks to my husband who has single-handedly kept HGF going, while carrying a much heavier load in my absence and limited ability for the past year.

All that to say…I’m back, pumped, hopeful and with a new appreciation for the life that God has given me…because it includes this guy now:

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Meet baby CJ-the newest tool the Lord is using to blow my mind when it comes to perceiving the love He has for us.

Here is to a grand new season!

~ Lyssah

Photo creds: Pinterest

Rethinking “Bivocational”

For those who’ve been following us the past few years, you’ve probably noticed how I often branch “bivocational” into two camps: those who work multiple secular jobs and those with a gig in the ministerial arena1.

However…in recent months, I’ve begun to question if this approach best captures the contrast.

‘Cause truth is: we’re all ministering something…because we’re all worshipping something.

Or to put it another way…we’re ministering something because somehow, someway (whether we realize it or not) we’re being continually empowered to attend the needs of someone else…whether a co-worker, a boss, a family member, a friend, a loved one, etc.

Now, before I continue, let me clarify this one point: when I say ‘ministerial arena’…I am (more often than not) talking about those who provide full-time or part-time service under the occupational ministry umbrella, but this doesn’t mean I believe other umbrellas are inferior.

Contrarily, I view all callings as unique given what God creates, assigns, and rations is infallible (Galatians 3:28, Genesis 1:27, Acts 10:34). So while the majority of what we discuss may naturally gear itself to those with one foot in a more ecclesiastical door, that doesn’t mean you fail if your feet find themselves on a different foundation2.

You see…I think far too often those in the church, those in ministry tend to pump up their own cause through the mission God has called them to…

…which, to me, represents one of the greatest tragedies not talked about in forums like this.

And while I’m not insecure about people taking prior His Girl Fryday blogs out of context, I still wanted to take time on this beautiful Monday afternoon to autocorrect how I breach bivocational topics in the now…and then.

All that to say…moving forward, when I mention “bivocational”, please know I’m referring to all Jesus-followers as ministers under the covering of 1 Corinthians 4:1-7, 2 Corinthians 3:6, and 2 Corinthians 6:4.

‘Cause when we put them together, we discover…

  • Every Christian is a servant in ministry.
  • Whether we’re consultants, salesman, doctors, nurses, lawyers, accountants, teachers, journalists, designers…whether we’re a combo platter of diverse professionals and/or have liturgical responsibilities…God has made us sufficient to be ministers of life through His Spirit.
  • By our effort and endurance, we can demonstrate the power of God operating in and through us by reflecting His heart of love, purity, patience, kindness to the lost/broken/backslidden, etc.

So when you think about it, getting caught up in ranking standards with a “This person has more weight because ‘this’…’ …or “That person has it easy because ‘this’…’ attitude makes no sense ‘cause the reality is we all have a calling and a purpose for such a time as this…

…not to mention…

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For me, the real question comes back to: are we being faithful to walk what God has called us to walk…and are we going to do so with an appreciation for the diversity by which God has fashioned us? 

I’ll just let the mic drop there. 😉

So hopefully this ties up some loose ends. If not, feel free to shoot us a comment below…or drop us a personal message if you prefer the confidential route.

At any rate, we’d love to hear from you. ‘Til then, be strengthened, encouraged, and challenged to live as Christ.

Know we’re with you every step of the way.

Footnotes

  1. A fair angle when looking to simplify
  2. After all, we live and grow in stride…and in seasons. Where God has you today may look totally different tomorrow.

Photo creds: challies.com & recyclingchristiandollars.com