But here it is! We have two questions this week, and the second one didn't fall within our matriarchs' arena of expertise, so we're tossing it out to the wider ring to see if anyone else has experience with it. The first, however, did strike a chord with a couple of the matriarchs.
Hi, I'm considering accepting a "half-time" call at a church nearby. I was wondering if any of the matriarchs had any experience with part-time calls--how to manage one's time, how to keep it part-time, where are the
hidden dangers, anything else I should consider.
Peripatetic Polar Bear has a "half-time" call right now, to a college church, which she is doing on top of a full-time job. In some ways, she notes, it's easier to gate-keep because there are only so many hours in a week. Here are some tips she offers.
- You are going to work more hours than you are paid for. "That's a given. (Find me a full-time pastor who works 40 hours a week every week!) It's up to you how much over is reasonable, and how much is too much. Hold the line on that one."
- Remind people of your time limits. "They will quickly forget. I've found a simple, 'Yes, I can fit that in my schedule, but it puts me over 30 hours this week. I could make it up by working only 10 next week, if you think this is important enough to merit it,' works."
- Let them help you problem-solve time crunches. "If you can't be flexible in the week to week, then you can't and just be honest about it. 'If I lead the deacon's retreat this weekend, I'll have to work overtime at my full time job next week. Bill, can you find someone else to lead Bible study, then?' Your part time status is not your problem to solve, it's the church's."
- You should be compensated with a proportionate amount of study leave and money. "Don't be afraid to ask. I get half of regular study leave and they pay for half of a class. They didn't offer. I asked."
Her main caution is to "be sure your family is ready to take the financial hit if you've been working full-time up to this point. We made the mistake of not really factoring that in to some other decisions we made at the same time, and we are still recovering from that."
The second question this week has a very specific focus that none of our matriarchs had insight to, and we're hoping that one of our fellow RevGalBlogPals might be able to help us out.
My husband and I are both second career seminarians, and are hoping to co-pastor together somewhere. However, while this seemed to be viable about 10-15 years ago, we don't see many models for it existing nowadays. Know any that are working? Have any wisdom about a couple taking yoked churches?
Okay, and there ya have it! Send your questions our way via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and send your comments to us below! We always love hearing from you.