So far we’ve talked about the perks part-time ministry and we’ve shared ways you can increase the excellence of your ministry. But even as good as the job is and as excellent as you can be, there are still unique challenges to the job. And to quote G.I. Joe, “Knowing is half the battle.”
So, for our last post in the series, we’re looking at the three biggest challenges to serving in this way. Understanding these difficulties and the problems they present help us to know how to pray and work and serve.
One of the most important parts of your job is building strong relationships with your team (musicians, technicians, volunteers, etc.), and while some of that can happen in a Sunday morning setting, the majority of that seems to occur in the “off” times. Good full-time ministers find ways to take their folks to lunch or hang out in a social setting to better know and understand the people they lead. As a part-timer, this is difficult because you don’t have much time and you don’t have an expense account for taking people to lunch or setting up hang outs with everybody, but ignoring the importance of this personal connection with your people will be a problem eventually.
At some point in your ministry, you’re going to ask your team to do something different or you’re going to change something about the way you all operate. Change is always hard, but it’s harder if your people don’t really know you. Building strong relationships lets your people see how you operate and what you prioritize. When the “ask” comes, you’re going to be in a tough spot if your people don’t really know you.
A lot of worship leaders struggle with a sense of ineffectiveness. As a part-timer, this is a very real challenge that you’ll face at some point. Because you only have a limited amount of time to serve, it’s natural that a lot of the stuff on your worship leader wish list isn’t going to get done.
Understanding this challenge will be helpful, especially in busy church seasons. To a degree, a part-time worship leader can feel “left out” of the momentum of a full church and its staff. If don’t understand that is a natural by-product of the part-time ministry, you’ll over exert yourself trying to create a sense of fulfillment rather than focusing on what you can do best.
For many of us who serve part-time, this is the hardest part of the job. We see full-time employees who seem to have all the time and resources in the world and we get bitter. We usually don’t foster that bitterness toward the employees, but we often resent the church itself for not elevating us to full-time status.
As you can probably imagine, resentment will seriously damage your worship leading. Sadly, resentment often distorts the way we view those around us. If we’re not careful, we’ll be ascribing the most evil, selfish motives to folks we are called to serve alongside. Be careful!
If you’re a part-time worship leader (or you’ve served in that way,) what are some good ways to foster relationships, process our effectiveness or guard our hearts against bitterness? Comment below! Share your wisdom! I know you’ve got some!