Part Time Pastor - Full Time Church Pilot

How it all began

One of the challenges of part-time, multi-vocational and not-paid-to-scale pastors is that their multiple vocational commitments make scheduling, meeting, and travel especially hard. Part-time pastors are often unable to take advantage of district or denominational gatherings or resources because they cannot take vacation time from their second job, can’t afford the travel, or simply don’t have time to add one more event into a week’s schedule. Part-Time Pastor; Full-Time Church supports and provides resources to strengthen skills and practices available in ways that address this particular challenge.

We see you. Your ministry is valuable and important. Part-time and multi-vocational ministry is who we are as a denomination, and we are here for you.

Western Plains District has received a grant and support from the Church of the Brethren Ministry Office to be a pilot for districts. This grant is a two-year grant to support part-time/bi-vocational pastors in working for health and vibrancy in their ministry work.

Opportunities will include the following:

Circuit rider—a seasoned pastor to come alongside a Western Plains part-time pastor for support, resourcing and encouragement in the critical ministry that is a part of his/her calling and service.

Resources—the district web page will carry resources for devotions, sermon prep-aration, worship materials, resources for pastoring and encouragement for the significant ministry that is a part of a part-time pastor’s work.

Spiritual director—a trained spiritual director will provide up to five sessions for pastors who feel the stress of meeting congregation and family needs, have a de-sire for spiritual deepening, want to face the emptiness that comes with burnout, and guidance in dealing with congregational lack of spiritual hardiness.

Congregational consultant—a trained person in assisting with congregational health and vibrancy issues, setting goals, planning ways forward for more positive ministry outcomes, changing a church system to be a movement for Jesus in the Neighborhood.

Pastor and spouse Sabbath— a weekend Sabbath get-away for ten pastors and spouses. Participant’s expenses for the week-end will be paid up to $700 total which includes money and assistance for filling the pulpit while the pastor is absent.

Wisdom sharing groups—at least two small interactive Zoom group meetings planned to address topics relevant to the group. Meetings scheduled based on available times for the participants.

“Our number one priority is helping you thrive in your ministry setting.”

What is a Circuit Rider? Why would I want to engage with one?

Circuit Riders are people that have walked in your shoes. If one reviews the credentials of the Church of the Brethren Circuit Rider, one sees that they are ordinary leaders. Some have families and appreciate the titles of mom/dad, grandpa/grandma. They have held full-time positions in a variety of vocations. Examples: in schools, carpentry, working with immigrants and they have needed to pull together a Sunday morning sermon. They are seasoned with multiple years of ministry.

Most of our Western Plains congregations are staffed with people that are bi-vocational. A Circuit Rider is a peer, and a member of the clergy. They want to make a connection with you. Their purpose in this ministry is to answer questions you may have about resources. Do you need additional support? They will connect you with those resources. Do you need someone to listen to your story; they are available. How do they make connections with you? They can talk to you on the phone, schedule a Zoom or meet with you in person. This is what is meant by “walk alongside”.


Link for Circuit Riders Information


Resource Links


Worship Resources


“Feel free to use these orally in a worship service, but if they are printed in a bulletin please use the fol-lowing credit “Copyright Carol Penner” Contact me for use in newsletters or printed resources, I am happy to grant permission but I would like to know how my writing is being used. You can reach me at“


  • The Church as Movement: Starting and Sustaining Missional-Incarnational Communities by JR Woodward and Dan White Jr.
  • The Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church by Alan Hirsch
  • The Forgotten Ways Handbook by Alan Hirsch with Darryn Altclass
    Part Time Pastor; Full Time Church Pilot


“Our number one priority is helping you thrive in your ministry setting”

Forms for Personalized Information and Action


Randy Yoder, Consultant
847-849-0205 |


Part Time Pastor - Full Time Church Pilot
Request Additional Information
Individual's Grant Application


Barbara Martin, Coordinator for Partnership Mission
620-241-4240 |

Would Spiritual Direction be helpful in my life and ministry?

“At times the strength of spiritual community lies in the love of people who refrain from getting caught in the trap of trying to fix everything for us, who pray for us and allow us the pain of our wilderness, our wants, so that we might become more deeply grounded in God.”

Quote from Rose Mary Dougherty’s Book, Group Spiritual Direction: Community for Discernment. Paulist Press, 1995


Spiritual Direction is an element of the Part Time Pastor; Full Time Church Pilot. Do you long for a deeper awareness and communion with God? Most often, spiritual direction is one-on-one with a person called a spiritual director. Spiritual direction is not pastoral counseling. Counseling works with problems or crises. Spiritual direction is participation between the spiritual director, participant and God. It is the looking for God’s nudging, encouraging, prodding, invitation to new ways of Jesus in our lives. It is a lifetime endeavor of building an intimate relationship with God.

To encourage you to experience the benefit to you and your ministry, the Part Time Pastor; Full Time Church Pilot will help you pay for three sessions of one-on-one spiritual direction. You may choose a spiritual director that you know and feel comfortable with or we can help you find one.

Pastor Spouse Sabbatical

Refresh and Renew

Would it be wonderful to have time alone with your spouse? How long has it been since you have had time
away from the day-to-day routine of a busy life…just the two of you without church responsibilities? The
Part Time Pastor; Full Time Church Pilot funding through the Lily Grant is
making this possible for ten couples.

  • Do you serve a Western Plains congregation as an active part-time/bivocational
    underpaid according-to-Church-of-the-Brethren-salary-scale pastor?
  • Do you serve a Western Plains congregation as an active full-time underpaid
    according-to-Church-of-the-Brethren-salary-scale pastor?
  • Do you have a vacation spot or destination you have longed to visit?
  • You choose where you want to go and for how long you stay.
  • Would $700 help to make it possible?
  • The $700 includes pulpit supply.
  • Open to the first ten couples that apply.
  • Ten couples this year (2024) and ten couples next year (2025).


The Part Time Pastor; Full Time Church Pilot Lily grant is for two years and not guaranteed after that.
Complete and submit Part Time Pastor; Full Time Church Pilot Grant Application Individuals

As part of your participation in this refreshing time away and to encourage other pastors to make use of Part Time Pastor; Full
Time Church Pilot resources, we request you share a video or written piece about your experience.