Thriving in Ministry completes survey of multivocational pastors

By Dana Cassell

The Thriving in Ministry program, a new denominational initiative supporting multivocational congregational pastors, has completed a large-scale online survey gathering information about the joys and challenges of pastors working in bivocational and part-time ministry. Between two-thirds and three-fourths of Church of the Brethren pastors serve as multivocational leaders, and more than 600 were invited to take part in this survey. The results of the survey will inform the next steps for the program.

An insight session at Annual Conference in Greensboro, N.C., titled “Part-Time Pastor, Full-Time Church” (Friday, July 5, at 12:30 p.m. in the Pebble Beach Room) will share key learnings from the survey and plans for the program’s next steps.

The Thriving in Ministry program, which will include one-on-one conversation and support from experienced pastoral leaders, opportunities to connect with other multivocational and part-time pastors, and access to resources, education, and support designed especially with multivocational, part-time pastors in mind, will begin welcoming participants in the fall of 2019.

The advisory committee for the Thriving in Ministry program includes Mayra Calix, a multivocational pastor from Atlantic Northeast District; Dana Cassell, Thriving in Ministry program manager; Ken Frantz, representative of the Church of the Brethren Ministers Association and a multivocational pastor from Western Plains District; Nancy Heishman, director of the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Ministry; Mark Kell, a multivocational pastor from Northern Ohio District; Janet Ober Lambert, director of the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership; Russ Matteson, district executive minister of Pacific Southwest District; and Steve Schweitzer, academic dean at Bethany Theological Seminary.

— Dana Cassell is program manager for Thriving in Ministry. Direct questions to her at or 847-429-4330.

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