How Many Hats Do You Wear?

Over on my worship blog, Church Music Today, we once posted an article debating “for or against” churches hiring what we called “dual role” ministers.  Meaning, you are an ordained pastor in a church who is covering two areas of ministry (i.e.: worship and discipleship, youth and families, etc).

I am a dual role pastor currently in a church.  As God called me to my six churches over my ministry, three of those stops were dual role (one part-time position and two full-time positions).

It begs the question: When you as a church hire one person to do two areas of work can either area succeed?

Mark Gungor, marriage speaker, has said that men’s brains are figuratively filled with boxes.  They concentrate on one thought or action at a time.  Once they complete that thought or action, they put the box away and then open the next box.  On the contrary, women also have boxes, but the difference is, their boxes are all connected…wired together, if you will, enabling them to multi-task much better than men.

Let’s not get into the differences of male and female thinkers much more…that is for a different blog!

For now, let’s just break down what I do at my church which is worship and discipleship ministries:

Leading the “ministry” of worship includes:

  • planning the main corporate worship service
  • leading rehearsals with the praise band
  • leading rehearsals with the praise team
  • organizing audio/visual notes and media
  • leading rehearsals with the choir (as needed)
  • meeting with the pastor for worship planning/brainstorming
  • printing off all related resources for worship and rehearsals for all sub-teams
  • communicate clearly and timely with all volunteers
  • administration duties for all parties
  • this doesn’t even cover leadership to the occasional groups (kids, youth, handbells) that meet and offer music in worship

Leading the “ministry” of discipleship includes:

  • plan Wednesday adult discipleship classes from August to May each year (sometime multiple classes offered)
  • recruit leadership for adult discipleship classes
  • work with a team of volunteers to plan, promote and recruit for the discipleship ministry (Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights).
  • oversee children, youth and adult Sunday School/Life Group leaders and classes
  • provide assistance and leadership to children and youth Wednesday night classes as needed
  • administration duties for all parties
  • assist with all church-wide activities/VBS/outreach events (that is a major sentence)

That alone is a lot – and I won’t exasperate myself to continue to come up with more to add.  But once you look at the list, it isn’t overwhelming – or is it?  To me the fact to remember is that my calling is music/worship.  My education and training is in music/worship.

I am finding that the majority of my time at this stop in ministry is working on discipleship/education ministries.  Maybe it is because they needed the most organization.  Maybe it is because we had a wide-open canvas to work with and it has been a blessing to create our own plan/ministry.  Either way, My time is spent is it’s majority on education or discipleship.

But – if you think about it, I see it as a positive, not a negative.  In fact, worship has elements of discipleship.  Moreover, worship in itself is an act of discipleship – surrendering ourselves to a greater being.  In his book “7 Words of Worship” LifeWay Worship Guru, Mike Harland wrote that “Worship is our response to who God is and what He has done for us.”  So, we are submitting ourselves to be used by the glory of God and in doing so, we are setting an example for those around us.  Our acts of worship are seen by our children and will be seen though our children by our grandchildren and so on.

It seems to work naturally in my calling…the marriage of worship and discipleship work well together.  But, I think that it differs form personality to personality.  For example, if you are not gifted in administration and communication, you will greatly struggle balancing more than one ministry.  It is near impossible for mere mortals to succeed at wearing multiple hats in ministry without over-communicating with your staff/team/volunteers and also being pro-active in your administration.

So, the conclusion is this: If you are wearing more than one hat in your calling, you are wearing them for a reason.  God has brought you to this place for a purpose.  Be a good steward of your time and talents and plan ahead, communicate well, and use the people around you to make your ministries stronger.  The use of teams in large ministries is a “no-brainer” because the ministry is bigger than just one person.  You cannot do it alone.  Don’t try.  Instead, use these keys to be as successful as possible in your balancing act:

  • Work with people who are gifted in those areas to form a team of prayer warriors and planners
  • Use a calendar – plan weekly, monthly, and yearly to keep your vision current
  • Utilize your staff for critiques and compliments – seek your pastor’s input on what is working well and what needs help
  • Challenge yourself to communicate to all leaders in your ministry in such a way that you answer all of their questions before they can ask them
  • Schedule your work week so that you are not pulled all directions
  • Realize that you cannot be “all things to all men” – do what you can in the scheduled time you have allotted and then take baby steps to get wherever you think God is leading your team

What other ways help to balance two ministries?

(feature image via google search)


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