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I had a conversation a few weeks ago with a worship leader friend who serves part-time at a church. He has a great ministry at his church and people love what he brings to worship each Sunday. But something he said surprised – and convicted – me.

About halfway through lunch, he said, I don’t want to be a full-time worship leader. But doing the part-time thing is kinda’ hard to figure out.

At that moment, I realized that almost all the writing I’ve done about part-time worship leading has come from a pro-full time mindset. In other words, I write mostly about “how” to transition out of part-time work and land a full-time job.

Without even trying, my friend reminded me of the worship leaders who actually like working part-time but have difficulty figuring out just what part-time worship leading entails.

How do you do part-time with quality and passion without exhausting yourself? (Or accidentally getting a job offer you don’t want!)

If you want to have a long, healthy ministry as a part-time or volunteer worship leader, learn to celebrate the things that benefit you spiritually. Serving in a smaller role allows time for the job to change you – to teach you spiritual disciplines and to help you mature as a Christ-follower. Because you’re not tasked with as much pastoral care, you have freedom to get involved in Bible studies and community simply as a Christ-follower and not a professional Christian.

Even though job may only require you to show up on one day a week and work, that doesn’t mean it’s ideal. Do your best to spend time with the staff – encourage them, hang out, listen to their ideas. Be a visible part of the church during the week (if you can.) Get to know what goes on in the day-to-day. It will help you do a better job when Sunday rolls around. Visibility and community provide countless opportunities to define your role at the church.

The hardest part of this job is knowing when to say “no” to requests from church staff. It may be awkward, but I promise your job will run much smoother if you’ll chance it and ask your superiors what sort of situations you can pass on. This is important to figure out – not knowing expectations often mean you say yes to too much and overwork yourself.


A lot of y’all have served volunteer/part-time. What are some of the things that seemed to work best in your experience?

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