Keep bivocational ministry from imploding

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The apostle Paul was bivocational—both a church planter and a tent maker.

In GCI, most of our pastors are bivocational—pastoring churches while holding down other jobs. Doing so is quite demanding, as noted by Northern Seminary professor David Fitch in a blog post entitled, “5 Tips on Keeping Bivocational Ministry from Imploding.” He writes:

Bivocational ministry has a bad name.

This bad name was bequeathed upon it by Christendom. Because within this Christianized world, where everybody is a Christian, the pastor is looked upon as a professional carrying out all of the numerous tasks of the church to offer services to Christians to sustain them in their Christian life. This model of ministry (I call it the Superman/woman model) is ordered for efficiency. It is a top down chain of command that gets things done. One person basically does all the gifts of the body, including preaching once a week, pastoral care, visiting the sick, running the business end of things, managing conflict resolution, and engaging the community with new and innovative ways to get people to come into church. Frankly this job is impossible even under the best of circumstances. But as a bivocational pastor? It will kill you.

To read the full post, click here.

2 thoughts on “Keep bivocational ministry from imploding”

  1. Thank you so much for featuring this article. It reminds us that, increasingly, the future of many churches rests on the love, dedication and faithfulness of bi-vocational pastors. In my view, GCI would not have survived to enjoy the health we now do without these men and women who have held so many of our churches together.

    The reality is that bi-vocational pastors do not just serve in times of crisis, they represent what will probably be the dominant face of pastoral ministry in the future. I am greatly encouraged that we are giving special attention to the care and equipping of these front-line leaders of the Christian cause.

    May the good Lord bless our efforts to support these men and women in their God-called vocations.

  2. David Fitch’s 2nd point is important “NEVER (and I mean NEVER!) enter bi-vocational ministry alone”. Leonard Banks, our bivocational pastor, has maintained his spiritual, mental, and physical health by building a good team to support the congregation and him.

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