I recently read about the growing trend of
“A rapid increase in bi-vocational church staff. We have noted the growing trend of bi-vocational pastors. We will see in 2015 an accelerated trend of other church staff becoming bi-vocational.” (http://thomrainer.com/2015/01/03/fifteen-trends-churches-2015-part-1/)
There is also an apparent increase in bi-vocational pastors as well. Since I am bi-vocatonal, I thought I would evaluate it from my perspective. Now, I might have a different perspective, since I am not bi-vocational by choice but by necessity. Well, I guess it’s a little of both. I chose to be bi-vocational in order to be where I wanted to be and to do the ministry I wanted to do. Anyway, that is a story for another blog.
However you get to bi-vocational ministry, there are positives and negatives.
There are some really good things that have come from my working in both ministry and another job.
Choose your path
First of all, I was able to choose to serve in a ministry for which I was really passionate even though there was not a salary attached to it. You have the flexibility to choose your own path more readily.
Secondly, because I am working at another job, I have developed a “marketplace ministry” by praying for and having conversations and relationships with those in the marketplace.
This leads to another positive. As a marketplace missionary, I have also become an evangelism practitioner. I have had the chance to invite people to church and share the gospel with them in ways that would not have happened if I were not there.
There are no strings on me
Without the “strings of a “salary” ministry can be done without restraint. This does not mean do whatever you want, but it often means taking chances that one would hesitate to do if they felt someone would not like.
I have also noticed some negative results of being employed in ministry and in another job.
Inability to do enough ministry.
When working 30 to 40 hours at another job, it is often hard to find time to do the ministry you want to do, or even the job you are supposed to do. It can be stressful.
Working all these hours and making time for the family leads to exhaustion. Sometimes I feel like I am tired all the time.
I have always felt called to full time ministry. Although I am doing part time ministry now, I do not think it is something I want to do forever. When your calling does not match your work it can be frustrating.
Strings can mean accountability – everyone needs strings
Not having strings can seem great, but everyone needs some kind of accountability. In my case, I am accountable to a Pastor, and a mission board, even though neither one of them pays me a salary. I am also self funded, and as a result I am accountable to many partners in ministry. But not having the pressure to do full time ministry, can lead to laziness if not careful.
Well, those are my thoughts. What do you think about bi-vocational ministry for staff members?