Thanks for taking the time to see if we might be a good fit for one another during this time of our collective ministries. Below is a glimpse into my understanding of Bridge Pastoring.
WHY I AM CALLED TO BRIDGE MINISTRY.
So here I am now, re-entering a new phase of ministry where I will be again itinerating: writing, speaking, and teaching in a variety of settings. As I enter this stage and age, I am embracing the gift of no longer being young but far from being retired. My love of pastoring and people, my understanding of congregational life and culture, and what, I hope, is my engaging and thoughtful worship leadership makes Bridge Pastoring an ideal complement to the rest of my ministry.
After leaving a call of 14 years followed by five years of itinerate speaking, freelance writing, and part-time interims, in 2019 I returned to congregational ministry as the Pastor and Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto. There I found a deep theological and political bond, a genuine openness to re-telling the Gospel story, and a loving embrace of me and my family. During our time we approved a new mission statement, developed a robust hybrid worship service, and grew in numbers and spirit. Unfortunately, in 2021 I was hospitalized due to a breakthrough Covid infection and I made the decision that the effects of long-covid prevent me from giving them all that they needed. While no pastor/congregation match is perfect, this was pretty close and a call that I continue to grieve leaving.
It is important to note that I am particularly drawn to and have a deep affection for the energy and culture of small churches, so will give preference to communities worshipping under 100 people on a Sunday. I am open to small towns, diverse cultures, and any style of worship, but I am also only willing to serve communities that are LGBTQIA+ affirming.
WHEN YOU MAY NEED BRIDGE PASTOR?
There are moments in a congregation’s life that require a short-term pastoral presence that often has few qualified candidates available thus leaving a congregation to spend needless energy arranging week-to-week pastoral leadership at the expense of other areas of ministry.
Examples of these times include, but are not limited to:
- Family or Medical Leave: When a pastor needs to be present for themselves or a family member due to personal emergency, parental leave, or other health-related situations.
- Pastoral Transitions: That time between two longer-term pastoral relationships often just after the end of a permanent pastor and the start of a Transitional or Interim.
- Pastoral Sabbatical: The time when a pastor and congregation enter into a season of rest, reflection, re-creation, and rejuvenation.
- Vacation/Study Coverage: The time when a pastor needs coverage during, before, or after vacation or study leave.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A BRIDGE PASTOR?
The Bridge pastor provides a short-term, consistent pastoral presence during these tender moments of congregational life that are often overlooked and anxiety-producing. The Bridge Pastor supports and encourages congregational leadership, provides pastoral care, and ensures that the worship moment is planned, coordinated, and lead with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love.
While every context is different, the Bridge Pastor is generally NOT called to assess organizational systems, start new programs, staff committees, or be part of the pastoral search process.
THE NITTY GRITTY
While everything is negotiable and highly contextual, below are some of my preferences:
Duration: My preference is to serve in segments of three-four consecutive weeks.
Time: My preference is to serve as few as five hours a week and not more than 15 hours.
Roles and Responsibilities: Working with current congregational leadership I am open to any combination of the following, including solely leading worship and preaching on Sundays.
- Be present for any pastoral care needs.
- Plan and coordinate worship.
- Lead worship and Preach each Sunday.
- Visit and hang out with folks.
- Lead or participate in a weekly Bible study or small group.
- Moderate Session, the Board, or Council as needed.
Other Negotiable Duties: I am also open to a variety of assessment and consultation topics: potential for growth, social media strategies, hybrid worship, staffing structures, etc.
MINIMUM COMPENSATION AND LOGISTICS
Always negotiable, below are my basic needs around compensation and terms. Much will depend on the location of the congregation. Below are expectations assuming that the location is NOT within commute distance from San Jose, CA.
Travel: The congregation will cover round-trip costs. Because I may choose to drive regardless of location, the amount will not exceed the cost of a round-trip flight.
Auto: Assuming that I do not drive my own car, the congregation will provide a vehicle or cover the cost of a rental car. Commutable distances will cover mileage.
Housing: The congregation will provide or cover the cost of housing. Housing must not be shared and must include wifi and utilities. Oh, and no cats.
Compensation: I will invoice the congregation at a rate of $50/hour. Because this is a contract position, there is no expectation of healthcare, retirement, or other benefits.
CREDENTIALS AND QUALIFICATIONS
- I am an Ordained Minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), ordained in 1995, and in good standing with San Jose Presbytery.
- A full resume is available, but you can also see my LinkedIn Profile or Wikipedia Page for more history and highlights.
- References are also available upon request.
If you would like to talk more, please email me with dates, location, and any other info and we can set up a time to Zoom. You can also see my calendar below to see if I am already committed for travel.