Free Range Priest is about Making Ministry Sustainable - for today's clergy, congregations, and beyond.
These are the 10 Key Concepts for re-imagining church in the 21st century.
In an era when anyone can become 'ordained' by filling out a form on the Internet, it is crucial to define our vocation as Christian clergy. In a time when congregational clergy do 'everything', it is important to set boundaries around what is and is not our work.
When clergy serve without being paid, it devalues our work and makes it even more difficult for those who need to support ourselves and our families to do so. The spiritual work of clergy is priceless, which is precisely why we need compensation. If some serve without payment, eventually all will, and this could lead to the demise of ordained clergy service.
We often use the term 'bi-vocational' to mean 'you are not getting paid for your ministry.' Some are truly called to bi-vocational work - serving two callings simultaneously. Clergy should not be forced into this situation because they must work a secular job to support their ordained ministry.
Most people are in church on Sundays only. Serving every Sunday supports the idea that clergy are always available. Part-time clergy should encourage lay ministry, and set reasonable expectations and boundaries. It should also allow clergy to serve more than one part-time call without exhaustion.
Hourly pay supports clergy work for specific tasks, and properly values what ordained ministry brings to the church and the world. It also allows congregations (and others) to pay for only the ministry they need. This is especially important for congregations unable to afford even very part-time professional salaries, and the clergy who serve them.
It is crucial that we recognize how the church is functioning at this moment. So often we are looking back at what we once were, or ahead to what we could be. Adjusting our vision to our current strengths and challenges supports our mission - as clergy, congregations, and all Christian ministers.
Over 90% of Americans are online for at least 30 minutes every day (according to Pew research). It is no longer possible to effectively serve as ordained clergy without at least some of our ministry being online. Investing in simple technology skills, equipment, and infrastructure is just as essential as basic theology and Scripture study. Be not afraid!
Clergy can serve one vocation as multiple jobs: part-time in more than one congregation; congregational and digital ministry, etc. Claiming our ministry as a unified whole made up of parts allows us to clarify the gifts we bring and the people we serve. It can also allow us full-time status in terms of pension, healthcare, and other benefits.
75% of Americans in their 20s do not attend church of any kind. Only 40% of any age attends 'regularly' - 1 Sunday a month (according to Pew research). A significant portion of our ministry - clergy, congregation, any disciple - must be focused on evangelism, in a world that needs it in so many ways.
We are all on the same team! Yes, denominations and traditions have different worship styles, oversight rules, and theological viewpoints. Organizationally and evangelically, though, we are exactly alike - facing the same challenges in terms of sustaining congregations, and sharing the faith more broadly. We can - and should! - actively support each other in this, across denominational boundaries.
Free Range Priest offers individual coaching and consulting for the challenges YOU face in the 21st century church and world. Find out how to Make Ministry Sustainable. The initial call is FREE.
I did that - and loved it! - for a decade, then served for 5 years on the staff of the then-Bishop of North Carolina (you might have heard of him!)
About sharing the Good News of the love of God with MORE people, in MORE places! Send me a message with your comment or question, or to request some time for a FREE initial call.
There has never been a better time to be in creative ministry. Most people are NOT in church!
Many people are waiting to hear Good News. YOU are called to share God's love, and the Christian faith inside - and beyond - the walls of the church.
NOW is the time to find out how.
Get a one-page 'Ministry Mini-site' for your church or creative ministry.
Only about half of all clergy get paid a full-time salary, and that number continues to decline.
Creative, sustainable ministry is necessary to support the work of sharing Good News in today's world.
The mission of Free Range Priest is to help make that happen. For YOU and YOUR ministry.
Serve congregations on contract, not salary. Serve in the digital world as a coach, teacher, guide, mentor, spiritual director...
Free Range Priest is a call for the church to embrace new structures without losing the heart of our ministry - to explore creative ways of connecting clergy with congregations that can bring life and energy to the Jesus Movement."
Clergy, Congregations, and Creative Ministers bringing Good News to the Digital World
A Ministry Mini-site is a simple, affordable way to establish or enhance your digital presence.
Reach people online with Good News!