Day Job

I hope you will check out these  books  by friends  who serve the church by day and write by night (or the other way around.)

Pastors of the future – we are told – will have day jobs that involve work beyond the institutional church.  Pastors of the future might be nurses or teachers or barristas or community organizers by day and pastors by night (evening worship?) or on the weekends.  None but the Biggest Steeple Churches will be able to hire professional pastors full time.  At least this is what we are told.

As a person whose salary is covered by multiple churches via their per capita payments, I realize that my position is not a sure thing in the years to come. Congregations may increasingly refuse to pay their portion for reasons ranging from 1) not being able to afford  to pay $30 or more per member to 2) not experiencing that “higher judicatories” (the Diocese or Presbytery or District) are all that helpful.  So, why should congregations support them/us?

I have had several writing projects on the burners for years now, and I can’t for the life of me figure out how people work full time jobs and also write books/screenplays, especially if they have spouses they would like to spend time with, children they want to raise, and houses to clean.  My current position involves a 45 minute commute each way, and I have tried writing on the train, but then I have to haul a laptop (albeit a 5 pound laptop) for the mile and half walk from the train to the office.  Yes, it sounds like I’m whining and I am.

Writing or exercise?  Writing or movie with HH?  Writing or baking cookies for my kids in college?  These are my daily choices and usually writing doesn’t win – except for the spiritual discipline of writing these posts.

We are all looking for creative ways to balance our lives.  And life varies as the seasons change.

I really thought I’d have lots of extra time when everybody went to college.  But now, my commute is much longer than when the kids were home and it starts at 6:45 am.  And I still have night meetings.

Not looking for any suggestions from you, but wondering about your day job.  

  • Do you long to do something in addition to what you do most of the time?
  • Are you hoping to ditch your day job after you get your big break in writing or music or acting or some other creative endeavor?
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8 responses to “Day Job

  1. I have three (not so) secret passions in life that I wish I could pursue:
    1. Stand-up Comedy (I actually used to perform at open0mic nights in Columbus, Ohio a couple of times before I was deployed)

    2. Writing and directing short films (did this in high school and really loved it. They were all comedic films, and I find myself missing it sometimes)

    3. Teaching (not in the elementary/scondary education sense, but in the mentoring and collegiate sense)

    I’ve actually been planning to start a podcast this summer with a friend of mine as a possible outlet for my creative needs. It will probably be an unmitigated disaster, but it should be fun.

  2. Coding (computer programming) and astronomy.

  3. I’m lucky to have a part-time position — 2/3 time at Tiny Church. I really don’t know how I’d be able to do it otherwise. Thanks for the book recommendation!

  4. My house is not cleaned and I have not exercised in a month. I have no idea what I would do if I had a spouse or kids…even now the writing is hard to keep up with. sleep and the internet (and the lure of my day job) are hard to resist. As evidenced by the fact that I’m on a hard deadline today and I’m still reading and commenting on your blog!
    I can barely do everything my regular (church) job requires and any portion of what’s expected of a grown up (cooking, cleaning, sleeping, having a life), let alone write a book. So clearly all that grown-up-stuff had to go out the window. 🙂

  5. Also: the Cleaning Angel cleans the house.

  6. Christopher Brown

    I wish I could write to support my ministry. I’m a bivocational church-planter and my second job is as a barista at a cafe. I love it, and it’s been fruitful ministry, but as an introvert I go home from the cafe relationally exhausted. Writing, on the other hand, energizes me so much that it makes my church work and personal relationships better.

  7. Now that I have two kids and am serving in a very busy program church… I don’t know how I’ll write another book. Articles, yes. Books… maybe when they’re both in elementary school?

  8. Hi Jan, I miss you and our cupcake dates. I have thought about this a lot in my time during residency. We’re expected to work 80 hrs a week and then go home and study. Writing for you is like studying for me. It always loses to the precious moments I call life. When I started residency, I made a conscious decision to strive for that balance, accepting that I would study less but cook more and lie more on the couch w/ hubby, and etc. Somehow I’ve managed. I think a season will come, Jan, when the writing will come back to the fore.

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