Churches experiencing numerical and financial decline may dread the day when they can no longer afford a full-time pastor. Freeing up funds that would go to a full-time salary sure would help the budget—maybe even enough to turn things around—but is it even possible to run effective ministries with just a half- or quarter-time professional? Journalist and part-time pastor Jeffrey MacDonald says yes—churches can grow more vibrant than ever, tapping into latent energy and undiscovered gifts, revitalizing worship, and engaging in more effective ministry with the community. Readers get a much-needed playbook for helping congregations to thrive with a part-time ministry model. They learn to see the model in a new light: to stop viewing part-time as a problem to be eradicated and to instead embrace it as a divine gift that facilitates a higher level of lay engagement, responsibility, playfulness, and creativity.
G. Jeffrey MacDonald is a part-time United Church of Christ pastor and full-time freelance journalist whose reporting on religion has garnered nineteen national awards, and his previous book Thieves in the Temple: The Christian Church and the Selling of the American Soulreceived third place for Religion Nonfiction Book of the Year from the Religion News Association.