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It’s Real Ministry cover

  • eBook Edition
    • 978-1-03-915174-1
    • epub, pdf files
  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-915172-7
    • 7.0 x 10.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 104 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-915173-4
    • 7.0 x 10.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 104 pages
  • Keywords
    • Part-time clergy,
    • Bi-vocational clergy,
    • United Church of Canada,
    • Congregational models,
    • Laity engagement,
    • church structure,
    • Christian mission

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It’s Real Ministry
How Part-time and Bi-vocational Clergy are Challenging and Empowering the Church
by I. Ross Bartlett and Kate Jones

Time to challenge your current thinking about ministry! Probe your assumptions about congregational well-being. Address your assumptions. Open the possibility of unleashing a significant new wave of Christian mission. Find new, fulfilling opportunities. In our time of specialization, it is of little wonder that we have left the trained and skilled professionals in charge of our churches and ministries. But did you know that full-time ministry is a relatively recent phenomenon? It’s Real Ministry: How Part-Time and Bi-Vocational Clergy Are Challenging and Empowering the Church reveals the richness that has existed and can exist again in part-time and bi-vocational ministry. It breathes hope and richness into what are often seen as depressed or impoverished communities of faith. And it offers insight into where congregations and clergy need to make choices and adaptations. Anchored in the findings of the largest survey of part-time, bi-vocational clergy that has been undertaken in a mainline Canadian denomination, It’s Real Ministry begins to address the current issue of declining congregational attendance, delves into the meaning that part-time and bi-vocational ministries might have for local communities of faith, and discusses new ways of imagining leadership. While the data is specific to the United Church of Canada, this study offers points of reflection for many denominations in Canada and beyond, offering positive insight and a starting point for clergy and laity to rethink of what they consider as age-old traditions.

I. Ross Bartlett and Kate Jones photo

Rev Dr I. Ross Bartlett has broad experience in congregational ministry and is intimately knowledgeable with church structure and institutional shifts. He has a deep commitment to the well-being of congregations and the clergy, and he believes they have a great future if they can shed some of their preconceptions. He has served part-time at different occasions throughout his ministry in congregations and has acted in a bi-vocational role for over twenty-five years. Dr. Bartlett is an accomplished writer, having published several books. Most recently, he has published Gathered for Preaching and On Holy Ground: You and Your Faith Story. For over fifteen years, he has written a regular column in the United Church of Canada’s Gathering magazine. He is currently the United Church Formation Director at the Atlantic School of Theology. In addition to his professional responsibilities, Dr. Bartlett is a husband, father, and grandfather. He resides in a suburb of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


I. Ross Bartlett
Kate Jones

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