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

Bivocational Profile: The Bivocational Pastor…Like My Father Before Me

Meet Pastor Wes. Pastor Wes is the children’s pastor at Your Community Church. He shepherds the K-6th grade population, assists the youth pastor with special events, and occasionally leads worship for various small group functions.

Without question, Pastor Wes loves his role and pursues it with steadfast devotion.

Yet, despite his contagious passion, Pastor Wes carries the unique distinction of not only being a BPK (i.e. bivocational pastor’s kid), but the son of the senior pastor as well.

In light of this, Pastor Wes often feels he doesn’t measure up, especially with respect to his dad. In addition, he feels overlooked, burdened by the weight of other people’s expectations, and discouraged by an increasing lack of edification.

the-struggles-of-a-pastors-kidFurthermore, Wes finds it hard to connect to his peers and other staff due, in part, to “last name association” with the senior pastor. Some church congregants even go as far to criticize Wes for his father’s actions, while others intentionally ignore him as a passive means to avoid confrontation.

However, none of this is new to Wes, having grown up with the PK label his entire life. Internally calloused yet perseverant, Wes questions his path as one regularly  torn between home church allegiance and his dream to escape the shallow stereotypes of his surroundings.

With a limited church salary, Wes supports his family by working part-time as a barista and an online tutor/teacher at a local homeschool tutorial. When he’s not ministering to young people, Wes enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, running insanely long distances to stay in shape, and playing soccer at a local recreational league.

Challenges: 

  • The PK label – often feels neglected, judged or both.
  • Not given opportunities to shine due to senior pastor’s fear of showing favoritism.
  • Lack of encouragement and communication with other staff assuming he gets enough of this from his family.
  • Lack of connectedness with the rest of the body.
  • Doesn’t feel grace to grow.
  • Often feels invisible.

Opportunities:

  • Finds strength in overcoming on a daily basis.
  • Is driven to depend on God for identity and purpose.
  • Is gifted in helping others struggling in the same boat.
  • Character constantly refined by “in church” challenges.

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: christianpost.com & ungrind.org

Bivocational Profile: The Road Warrior

 

Mpreaching.289120859_stdeet Pastor Randy. Pastor Randy is the associate pastor at Your Community Church. He assists the senior pastor in project coordinating, oversees house church and new member ministries…and is regarded as one of the nicest people in town.

Yet, despite his warm nature, Pastor Randy is a mystery man, with bivocational obligations keeping his church attendance in check.

Truth is: Randy is a road warrior…an aerial champion who travels heavily to meet the requirements of his personnel recruiter position. Unfortunately, due to his loaded schedule, his influence is somewhat hindered by limited availability.

No doubt, Randy is committed and takes his ministerial responsibility seriously. For instance, Randy will use his “down time” at an airport or hotel to catch up on weekly correspondences with church members and staff.

However, Randy finds it hard to keep pace relationally and organizationally, as he’s often the last staff member to receive important updates (If only they use ‘Slack’). Furthermore, since Randy often misses out on opportunities to offer timely insight, the majority of church attendees aren’t aware of his spiritual giftings.

Randy has a devoted wife and a couple rambunctious kids who hold down the fort while he’s away. When he’s not on the road, Randy loves soaking up quality time with family and friends, whether it’s at the movie theater or serving the homeless at his local community center.

Challenges:

  • Limited availability.
  • Tendency to over-rely on technology versus in-person interaction.
  • Little time for family and peers due to heavy workload outside of church.
  • Has little time to directly develop and mentor.
  • Struggles to communicate from the road.
  • Often feels invisible.

Opportunities:

  • Is able to inspire others by a relentless and disciplined work ethic.
  • Has stable job to provide for family.
  • Is gifted in building meaningful connections with people wherever he’s at.
  • Has the tools to inspire people, even at a distance.
  • Character constantly refined by “real world” experiences and challenges.

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: travisallendot.com & pixgood.com.

Bivocational Profile: The Very Involved Volunteer

coaching-cartoon-peerprograms-ubc-caMeet Jack. Jack is a volunteer at Your Community Church…and is involved. Very involved. So involved, he’s often misunderstood to be a full-time staff member. Not like Jack seeks to milk the myth; he’s just really passionate about serving people. Jack is a newly wed and works 30-40 hours a week as an Apple specialist at Best Buy. He has no kids, but dreams of having them, which is partly why he commits 25-30 hours a week as a volunteer in the youth and tech ministry programs. In the rare case, he’s caught up on both work and church, Jack can be found hanging out with senior high youth at the rec center or movie theater.

Challenges:

  • Time management is weak.
  • Tendency to over-exert is high.
  • Little time for family and peers due to heavy workload in church and out.
  • Unbalanced priorities with respect to community overall.

Opportunities:

  • Is able to use IT skills in both spheres.
  • Uses church community as a bridge to bless colleagues at work.
  • Is constant in loving people, allowing non-churched and churched peers to trust his counsel and encouragement.

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: volunteerswmi.org & volunteerweekly.org

New Series: Bivocational Profiles

When we talk about the bivocational, no two stories are alike.

For one thing, we’ve all been unique designed by a masterful Creator, not to mention blessed with a special set  of characters, challenges, and opportunities that paint the framework of our calling.

Perhaps some of you have wondered what your framework looks like or how your story relates to others out there.

If this fits you, well…let’s just say this validates a BIG reason why we’ve created this resource.

So for the next five Sundays, Lyssah & I are going to talk about five bivocational profiles most relevant to our time and place.

What is a bivocational profile? Basically…it’s a category to classify a group of similar stories. True, each story is divinely set apart. But at the same time…many gravitate towards certain “molds”.

So as we discuss these molds the next couple weeks, feel free to share your input and/or story in the comments  below.

As always, we look forward to hearing from you as we learn and grow together.

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Bivocational Profile #1: The Part Time Pastor

church-easter-sunday-01Meet Pastor Joe. Pastor Joe is the pastor at Your Community Church. He preaches, teaches, visits hospitals, marries, buries, and even mows the lawn. Pastor Joe also works 30 something hours a week as a middle school teacher. He has a wife and two kids. In any given week, Pastor Joe is lesson planning and counseling a depressed congregant. He can most likely be found reading Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the book of James while cheering his daughter on at soccer.

And people have the nerve to call him a “part-timer”.

Challenges:

  • Work-life balance is non-existent
  • Tendency to burn the candle at both ends just to keep all his plates spinning
  • Difficulty giving family the attention it needs
  • Occasionally distracted by the responsibility he is not currently working on
  • Living up to “full time” expectations in multiples areas of life

Opportunities:

  • Readily understands the pressures faced by his congregation as a worker in the “real world”
  • Is constantly exposed to new technics and tools in his job that can be used in his ministry
  • Access to non-churched families with opportunities to show Christ’s love…without being perceived as a “pastor with an agenda”

Our hats are off to you Pastor Joe. ‘Cause truth is: you are the furthest thing from “part-time”.

The challenges are real…and so are the opportunities. Do you fit into this profile? What are some other challenges or opportunities you have encountered? Feel free to share in the comments below.

Photo credits: simplydisciple.com & collectionpicture.net