Mainline Protestant churches and denominational bodies don’t know how to handle part-time clergy. The standard has been clergy working full time. But has that always been the standard? (The short answer is no.) What happens when churches can’t afford a full-time clergy? Does that mean the church is no longer viable? Mainline denominations assume that all calls to ministry should be full time and if a pastor is working part-time, this is because the congregation is on the downward slope towards closure.
The thing is, the reality is far different and these denominations aren’t ready for the change. Today, I talk to G. Jeffrey MacDonald the author of Part Time is Plenty: Thriving Without Full-Time Clergy. Jeff is an ordained United Church of Christ minister and a freelance journalist whose writing credits include the Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, Religion News Service and others. He’s an interim minister of a UCC congregation and lives in New England.