Bi-vocational is not a Dirty Word

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!

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3 Comments on “Bi-vocational is not a Dirty Word”

  1. waddey Says:

    Bi-vocational is a great thing. I have been bi-vocational myself at times. Can’t wait to read your book! We are working in the TN Baptist Convention to encourage our rural pastors and congregations. Good post.

  2. rebrev Says:

    I’ve heard great things about the work ya’ll are doing in Tenn! May God continue ot bless your work for His Kingdom.
    bob g

  3. Plumber7 Says:

    Pastor Bob,
    I always enjoy talking/ listening with you. I am not a fan of mega churches. I am a fan of Christians/ Preachers duplicating themselves. (ie. discipiling those they have contact with) my apprentice says he’s a christian, pro life, and he voted for obama. Thank God for prayer, give me strength.
    God bless,

    PS. By the way… how hard you work, your like Tri / Quad- vocational. Love you brother

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