The complexity of cross vocational ministry has be to addressed by each and every pastor pulling double-duty. You have to evaluate time spent at work, at church, with your family, with your church family, in Sabbath and in labor.
No cross vocational pastor will be able to do it all. They must make strategic modifications to their ministry approach in order to maximize their time and their efficiency.
Let me offer 5 suggestions which might help you modify ever so slightly.
1. Use your cell phone as a conference room channel for team meetings. Get everyone on the phone using the merge call function and have them open up individual laptops. Once everyone is connected, use a shared church calendar or virtual planning app and let everyone contribute in real-time. You might not be able to pull off a full, in-person staff meeting because everyone is at their “other” job, but you can plan and connect as a team if you are thinking ahead.
2. Use text messages & social media to connect to people that you won’t see during the week. With your day-job absorbing the bulk of your time, you might only see your congregation when you are in the actual building. To make a connection without being present, send a personal text message, post on the church’s social media channels, or write a church wide email. Each digital touch gives your people a chance to connect with you, even if it is only with a “like” button.
3. Write stock notes to be delivered when others make hospital visits. There is no way you will be able to make all the visits and surgery runs. If you have a team helping you cover the hospitals, give each person a stack of pre-done hand-written notes to take with them sharing your concern and prayers. You might think it feels impersonal, but I promise the person in the hospital will appreciate a card from their pastor. It is something tangible that will go a long way.
4. Record voice memos of sermon ideas, staff meeting plans, and future ministry strategies. You might not have a chance to come back and write down your ideas while at work. So pull out your phone and record your idea before it gets away from you. You can even send those memos to various team members as voice messages allowing them to start stewing on the idea.
5. Choose family outings where your congregation might also show up. When you go out to your local bowling alley, movie theater, community festivals, farmers markets, or ball games and see people from church, greet them warmly. You don’t have to neglect your family to be in ministry-mode, but just say hello and show interest. It is another connection that makes all the difference.
The key to cross vocational ministry is to be intentional and strategic. You must maximize your time and take advantage of the little things that can make a huge difference.
What ideas or modifications would you suggest? Leave a comment.