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November 30, 2017

Time Management for Bivocational Ministry

By Daniel Im

With bivocational ministry becoming more and more conventional, it is crucial for any pastor or church planter to know how to manage time well. Without doing so, they are setting themselves up for burnout, and, even worse, they are jeopardizing the health of their ministry, family, and their own body.

An Unconventional Lifestyle

Hugh Halter’s life is far from conventional. After serving in bivocational ministry for over 20+ years, Hugh now spends time writing books and traveling the globe to speak about incarnational ministry and missional leadership. But over the years, Hugh has also worked as a house painter, as a delivery driver, and at a golf course, all while caring for his family and serving his local church. So the question is, how does he do it? What is the secret recipe to living a bivocational life well?

Hugh learned the hard way. In this video, Hugh shares what his life looked like years ago when he began to learn how to manage time. Hugh experienced some unique circumstances that demanded his time and energy. Having a son with severe epilepsy meant little to no sleep for many years. Additionally, he worked about eight hours a day painting houses, along with his ministry obligations. Something needed to change. After being burnt out for some time, Hugh decided to make a drastic change in his lifestyle for the sake of his health, church, and family.

The 25 Percent Rule

Hugh talked about the 25 percent rule, which says that any leader of a church, organization, or business can stop doing 25 percent of what they are doing immediately and no one will notice any qualitative difference. Many of us feel like we are so busy, but, the truth is, we don’t know how to manage our time. Hugh’s coach at the time, Bob Logan, helped him assess what he could give up so that he could strategically spend his time in areas where he would actually be able to create momentum.

To read the remainder of this article, and to listen to the entire video training with Hugh Halter, click here for the full video and post.

These videos are part of Plus Membership. To get full access to them, and much more, I encourage you to become a Plus Member. Click here to see all the benefits of becoming a Plus Member.


  • “The things that create momentum in normal church are not going to be the things that create momentum when you’re doing bivocational ministry.”—@hughhalter
  • “Nobody else gets to own you or determine what you do, you have to actually learn how to architect the way that you’re going to live.”—@hughhalter
  • “If you’re going to live bivocationally and you don’t take ownership of your schedule, the whole thing is going to be difficult.”—@hughhalter
  • “Whatever you give your leadership to will generally grow.” —@hughhalter
  • “We know now, Sunday gatherings don’t develop disciples, they don’t change the culture.” —@hughhalter
  • “I don’t have to be everything for everybody.” —@hughhalter
  • “You can stop 25% of what you’re doing right now and nobody will care.” —@hughhalter


Daniel Im

Daniel Im (@danielsangi) is the Senior Associate Pastor of Beulah Alliance Church, a multiplying multisite church focused on reaching 1% of Edmonton for Christ. His latest book is You Are What You Do: And Six Other Lies about Work, Life, and Love. He is also the author of No Silver Bullets and co-author of Planting Missional Churches. He co-hosts the New Churches Q&A Podcast, as well as the IMbetween Podcast. He has an M.A. in Global Leadership and has served and pastored in church plants and multisite churches ranging from 100 people to 50,000 people in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Korea, Edmonton, and Nashville. Because of their love for the local church, after pioneering and leading the church multiplication initiative for LifeWay, Daniel and his wife, Christina, moved back to Canada with their three children. For more information, visit danielim.com and follow him on social media @danielsangi.


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