Last time, we laid some introductory groundwork as to how a bivocational minister can rightfully deal with the ‘part-time label’, whether it’s with the stigma itself or the actual process of juggling multiple responsibilities.
Today, we’re going to discuss the first way a part-time pastor can shatter this stereotype without compromise.
But just as a quick prelude before we dig deeper into the matter, granted I’m probably getting ahead of myself here…
…regardless of the strategies discussed, the one thing a bivocational minister must do is be intentional about loving people. Because without love, it’s impossible for any gameplan to succeed…for any agenda to be prioritized righteously, whether inside or outside the church.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Psh, c’mon, Cam! Easier said than done. Besides, in today’s world, it’s completely unrealistic to expect a part-time minister to be available and visible at all the right times.”
Granted, I’m not trying to be legalistic or unreasonable in my approach.
However, I am suggesting that in order to properly cope with the part-time label, a minister must be willing to die to what men think and expect. ‘Cause at the end of the day, what matters most is consistent obedience working in tandem with love. So if the bivocational minister pursues his assignments faithfully, then God will surely break through and bring to life the light and fruit necessary to impact the saints, as well as the lost.
Thus, the first way a part-time pastor can buck the ‘PT’ label is to die…and in doing so, establish a rhythm of healthy prioritizing by making time to love.
Internally (i.e. “reaching in”), this can be accomplished by keeping select hours open for counseling and staff mentoring, setting daily/weekly times to pray and serve members of the congregation (whether through hospital trips, random acts of kindness or simply engaging their interests) and celebrating notable milestones with staff.
Externally (i.e. “reaching out”), this can be accomplished by regularly participating in Isaiah 58-type ministries, serving in community outreaches outside the church, building community networks and knowing, praying…even teaming with key political leaders.
Of course, there’s much more we could tag on, as this list is only the tip of the ministerial iceberg.
At any rate, the opportunities for a minister to influence by love, whether it’s listening, caring, praying or simply being available, are endless. And yes, I know it can be difficult to find time…but at the end of the day, love needs to a transparent platform to be effective. So if you regularly find yourself lacking the time, ask the Lord to not only help you refine your priorities, but how much time should be devoted to each individual priority.
Speaking of refining priorities, next time, we’ll talk about how bivocational ministers can model efficient time management skills to church members and staff, using their part-time status as an efficient template.