Sunday, June 08, 2008


I just realized today that I am a bi-vocational minister. Of course, I'm not bi-vocational in the traditional sense (having a full/part time job in the world and a full/part time job at the church) since my full time job is being an assistant pastor and my (very) part time job is being the preacher at a smaller church. So I don't count, but I do feel that bi-vocational ministers will continue to increase. I can think of 3 pros to being/having a bi-vocational minister:

1) Gives the minister better perspective
2) Causes congregation to step up to plate
3) Allows more funding of ministry vs. clergy


Dancin' said...

Speaking as a former bi-vocational (tent maker). I tend to feel the cons out weigh the pros of the monster we create. I agree with the need to encourage the whole of the church body to take on the responsibility of the mission of the Church. I think moving towards bi-vocational ministry hinders the effectiveness of the church because you now have a pastor with a divided focus. (S)he must balance caring for the congregation, with his other professional responsibilities. It seems that this would be another added stress to place on the pastor and would cause a retracting from the mission of the church.

matthew said...

thanks for coming at this from the other angle. but don't you think your con is more a symptom of the disease? doesn't the fact that a pastor would feel pressure to be 'full-time' when he isn't an evidence that the church has the wrong mindset to begin with?

Dancin' said...

I know for myself the pressure I felt to give more to the ministry and to my external profession came from seeing what had to happen for us to be effective. While the pressure wasn't always some thing I personally needed to do. I would get frustrated when work got in the way of ministry and then feel guilty when I couldn't commit to something at work because I knew I need to be available for ministry.

I NEVER felt pressure from the church to do more. I do agree that in some instances there are unrealistic expectations placed on the bi-vocational pastor. I loved ministering at the Church.