In 2015, more than 38% of pastors in the U.S. were co-vocational. Almost every church has at least one co-vocational pastor on their team. Tim Diehl defines a co-vocational pastor as a person who serves as a pastor in a church and carries one or more other jobs in order to supplement his or her salary.
In today’s episode, we unpack a few of the challenges facing co-vocational pastors and offer helpful tips in navigating the often-exhausting world of co-vocational leadership.
Some of the biggest challenges for co-vocational pastors are:
- Pace: How does a leader work in the marketplace full-time, pastor a church at the same time, and yet have any hope to find space for rest and rejuvenation? It’s tough to work two jobs, raise a family, and find time for restorative rest.
- Energy management: We were created with limitations. We do not possess limitless energy.
- Guilt: Most of the time, it’s false guilt. You know, that suspicion that I’m mediocre at best with both jobs? Or I’m killing one and failing at the other?
How does a leader work in the marketplace full-time, pastor a church at the same time, and yet have any hope to find space for rest and rejuvenation? A healthy work/rest rhythm
Rhythm 1: Daily
“And then there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.” ~ Gen.1:5. Each segment of God’s creative burst of energy was followed by a pause.
Rhythm 2: Weekly
After completing the work of creation, God rested on the seventh day. He didn’t rest due to exhaustion. He rested to set an example for us ambitious humanoids.
Rhythm 3: Quarterly
Every 90 days, encourage your co-vocational staff (and yourself if you’re co-vocational) to get out of their zip code and take part of a day for relaxation, reflection, recreation, and rest.
Rhythm 4: Annual
Disconnecting from work for a real vacation is not wasted time or selfish behavior. It’s not a luxury. It’s essential! Learning how to play helps us be more productive at work.
If you are a lead pastor with co-vocational staff:
- Collaborate with them to create a sensible, and sustainable schedule.
- Grant them permission to inform you when you’re giving them more work than they can realistically handle.