The New “Full Time”

I’ve always wondered why certain people actually brag about extreme hours of work.

Working “full time” isn’t 40 hours anymore.  Part-timers are pulling that in (that are allowed to anyways).  If you’re on salary it’s pretty typical that 50 to 60 hours is okay, 80 is the mark of a true hard worker, and 40 is just lazy.

Everyone has their threshold, but at some point you’re just mailing it in…and that just sounds like the worst.  Some people may prefer quantity, but I’m going for quality.

Rest…good, honest, spiritual rest…is just as important in my line of work as anything else.  And I imagine it’s more important to your line of work than your boss is (or even you are)giving credit for.

Do you seek rest for your mind, body, and soul?

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

*The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Mt 11:28–30). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

2 thoughts on “The New “Full Time”

  1. I agree with this completely, especially in ministry. I have little respect for people in occupational ministry who hit their “hours” for the week and call it quits. I am constantly inspired by my volunteers who work full time jobs during the week and then choose to spend their precious extra hours with me as partners in ministry. Out of respect for them how could I walk away when I hit my 40? It’s one thing to maintain margin and protect your time for your own personal health and sanity, but another to simply say, “I’ve done all you’re paying me to do.”

    I don’t often keep track of my hours in a week, but if I were to punch a clock, I would count my administrative tasks. Some things we all do just to keep the church working. But the second I’m working alongside a volunteer, the clock stops and I’m on my own volunteer time. Thinking about it this way has always helped me keep perspective.

  2. Thanks for sharing Brian. I think that ministry is pretty fluid and requires a lot of personal motivation. Some abuse that and work 40 at the very most, keeping is closer to 35 or less. My resistance is to the “60 hour normalcy”.

    I have heard of people viewing work vs. volunteer hours like you have described, and it certainly could lead to an interesting discussion. Perhaps it’s different as a pastor, but even in the midst of working alongside volunteers I am “on”…looking for ways to minister to people, and they in turn expecting me to be the pastor. Many times this expends emotional capital. It’s also what I’m being paid to do, so I don’t mind categorizing it as work. I can’t think of a non-profit worker who organizes volunteers, for example, suddenly punch off the clock whenever volunteers are around. Their leadership as organizer/overseer is still expected…and maybe more so when in the presence of volunteers.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m also very inspired about the volunteer hours spent. I’m just not sure the way to show them respect is to risk burnout by blurring the lines between work and volunteering. The best way to respect the time volunteers are giving is to position them in such a way that they are growing in their faith and using their gifts by serving. The worst case scenario is when pastors have “spots to fill” and guilt people into devoting their time/money/energy into something that brings no joy or experience of God’s work. With that in mind, I might even want to delineate volunteerism from living out one’s faith in the context of the church community.

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