Archive for June 17, 2008

Bi-vocational is not a Dirty Word

June 17, 2008

I am in the (VERY slow) process of writing a book. The working title is “Bi-vocational is not a dirty Word.”

You see, I serve as a bi-vocational pastor. That simply means I have two vocations. There are many of us who serve in such a capacity, yet there still seems to be a stigma associated with the role. So, I’d like to attempt to help clear up some common misconceptions.

Bi-vocational does not mean “part-time.” If you pastor a congregation, regardless of size, it is a full time job. In fact most mega-church pastors do less “pastoring” than smaller congregation pastors. That is not a slight toward them, but you just can’t minister one on one to 5000 folks the way you can 50-100.

Bi-vocational pastors, at least the ones I know, are serving in their capacity because that is where God has called them. We aren’t in a bi-vocational setting because we “can’t get a big church.” Some of the best sermons I’ve ever heard were preached by bi-vocational pastors. We aren’t bi-vocational because we “don’t trust God.” In fact, I think one could argue you have to trust God a whole lot more to be able to keep it all together when serving in both roles.

There are many challenges to being bi-vocational. Time management is one of the greatest which goes hand in hand with maintaining perspective and priorities. A short list of advantages to being bi-vocational include, a greater understanding of the current culture and challenges facing church members and greater opportunities for evangelism.

So , whether in a “fully-funded” position or bi-vocational, the blessings of serving in the place to which God has called the pastor far outweigh the challenges!