Bivocational Ministers

/Bivocational Ministers
Bivocational Ministry seems self-defining.  Yet it is a mystery to many in the church.  When I think of Bivocational minsters, I’m reminded of a U.S. Marine Corps commercial I’ve seen often on TV.  Applying the ad to these ministers, I think of “The Few . . . The Proud . . . The Bivocational.”  Like the Marines, they are dedicated to their task; they are up to the task; they are trained to execute and complete the task; and they will get the job done!  Without them, most small, rural churches would be leaderless and possibly give up and close their doors.  Churches need pastors; pastors need churches.

Generally speaking a Bivocational minister is one who has a paid church position as well as, at least, one other paid job.  Included in the term are many retired ministers who willingly serve small churches.  He does not have to do for a local church what he does, but is moved to do it by the purest and highest motivation possible – God’s calling on his life. The Bivocational are not just pastors, but also music, youth, and education ministers and even Associational Directors of Missions.  For the purposes of this booklet, the term “Bivocational” will primarily refer to pastors.

“Bivocational churches” are much harder to determine.  Many do not think of their church as “Bivocational” because they see their pastor as their “full-time” pastor.  They do not define their church according to the pastor’s other vocation. They assume that if they meet every Sunday for Bible study and worship, they are a full-time church.

So how many churches in Alabama are “Bivocational?”  A rough guesstimate would be about 54% according to the annual church reports.  And that percentage is growing.  Actually, it would be much more than that if you count the churches with various Bivocational positions. It may well be more like 90%.  Needless to say, Bivocational ministers and churches make up the majority of Alabama Baptist churches and ministers. Although they may be in the background, they are indispensable.

It is my hope that this little essay can shed some light on this work so it is not a mystery any longer.  I hope it will be an encouragement and support to those seeking bivocational church positions and churches considering having a bivocational minister.  This ministry needs to be exposed and appreciated by all.

Missionary Staff –
Chip Smith – full bio
toll free 1-800-264-1225, ext. 342
direct 334-613-2342

Ministry Assistant –
Linda Hicks
toll free 1-800-264-1225, ext. 263
direct 334-613-2263

What should you pay your Bi-Vocational Pastor?

Many bi-vocational churches still operate under the old “lump sum” or “package approach.” “We will pay you $X.XX and you divide it any way you wish.” This can cause the minister to pay much more [...]

By | May 3rd, 2015|Categories: Bivocational Ministry, Church Compensation|0 Comments

Why be Bivocational?

Since being bivocational is a challenging lifestyle in any vocation, why would any pastor be bivocational?  Here are few reasons: 1.  Intentionally Bivocational Frequently a pastor is led by God to be intentionally “bivocational.”  He [...]

By | February 1st, 2015|Categories: Bivocational Ministry, Leadercare, Leadership|Comments Off on Why be Bivocational?

Basic Facts About Bivocational Ministers

1.  Bivocational ministers are overworked and under paid. It’s not hard to agree that all bivocational ministers are overworked.  Anyone in any profession who has two “full-time” jobs will be over worked.  Because bivocational pastors [...]

By | January 30th, 2015|Categories: Bivocational Ministry, Leadercare, Leadership|0 Comments

Joys & Positive Aspects of Bivocational Ministry

1.    The financial base for church ministry, as well as the pastor’s personal financial base, is usually stronger. Churches with bivocational pastors usually find that their financial base is stronger because there is not an [...]

By | January 27th, 2015|Categories: Bivocational Ministry, Leadercare, Leadership|Comments Off on Joys & Positive Aspects of Bivocational Ministry

Challenges of Bivocational Ministry

1.  Self-Image  Many bivocational ministers, especially pastors, often suffer from a low self-image of their ministry.  Considering the historic role and current importance that bivocational ministry has in God’s Kingdom, it’s hard to imagine why [...]

By | January 25th, 2015|Categories: Bivocational Ministry, Leadercare, Leadership|Comments Off on Challenges of Bivocational Ministry

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