Hi FBP community .
I’ve started this thread to get some discussion going about what productivity and rest look like in vocational ministry - that is, ministry in a paid role of some description: a pastor, university chaplain, and so on.
In February, I started working as a trainee for a Christian group at a nearby university. I’m currently taking unpaid leave from my other role as a data scientist (so thankful to my other employer for giving me this opportunity!).
As a data scientist, I have a small number of tasks on my to-do list, and each of these tasks take a long time to complete. For example, “Clean this data”, “visualise these patterns”, and so on. As programmers (like @joebuhlig) know, programming always takes much longer than you expect. Rule of thumb: estimate how long you think it will take, and multiply by 5-10. Anyway, I digress.
By contrast, in vocational ministry, I have a large number of tasks on my to-do list, and most of these take a short amount of time to complete. E.g. Email a whole bunch of people about a whole bunch of unrelated things. These are important tasks, to be sure, but each takes a few minutes at most.
If I can be frank, the impact of this change has surprised me! I’ve dropped the ball on a few of these small tasks, just forgetting to add them to my OmniFocus/Drafts lists. And to be honest, I think my personality (high Fact Finder / Follow Thru, low Quick Start) has contributed to being challenged in this way.
The other challenge I’m wrestling with at the moment is getting enough rest. There’s no such thing as work-life balance (thanks @mikeschmitz!), but I found that receiving messages from university students (my sheep, loosely speaking - see 1 Peter 5) on weekends was very detrimental to my rest. Consequently, I purchased a second phone that I use for vocational ministry that I turn off on weekends. However, I don’t feel like this is a suitable long-term solution.
I’m also wrestling with how best to take holidays. Do I always travel for holidays, so that I don’t see my sheep, even though this will cost more money? Given that I’m single and 28, what would it look like to travel by myself? If I stay at home for my holidays, what can I do that will be restful?
Look forward to hearing other people’s thoughts / questions