Community Connections and the Bivocational Pastor

Source: http://openclipart.org/detail/189502/window-with-potted-plants-by-moini-189502Often as a bivocational we might wish for many of the benefits of the fully-funded pastor.  But we should not overlook the advantages WE have that the fully-funded pastor might not possess!  One of these is the very thing that defines many of us as bivocational…our secular job.

The lifeblood of growth in the church is the connection we have with the community and the ministry we conduct outside the walls of the church.  This area is something a bivocational can excel in.  Every day you work outside the church you encounter unsaved, unchurched people.  Each of these encounters offers a possibility to touch someone for Christ.

Even in the most restrictive of environments God will open doors if you simply ask Him.  For instance, I work at a School District in Vermont.  We are the most unchurched state in the USA, and I work in an environment where the seeming ‘separation of Church and State’ rules supreme.  And yet, I received an email from a co-worker today thanking me for our prayers for her and her family as they attend a funeral.  This same co-worker has started attending church (not mine, but who cares!  It is Kingdom work!).  A month or so ago I completed premarital counseling with another co-worker and her fiance, and will officiate at their wedding in September,  A third co-worker has asked me to officiate at HER wedding this fall.

By simply being salt and light in this place, the Kingdom has grown.  What are the possibilities where you work?  Are you in retail, touching each customer as they come through your doors simply by being Christ to them?  Do you work in a social service agency, providing compassion to hurting people?  Working in a factory, showing people that they are not just cogs in a machine, but people whom God loves?  Use your job to expand the Kingdom.  In the words of H.B. London, “Bloom where you are planted”!

2 comments

  1. Agree with this article. It is amazing the opportunities that arise when we simply live for/with Christ in every situation and place we find ourselves working. I have had several opportunities to love as Christ loved over the past 5 months as I have begun bi-vocational ministry. The elderly lady who brightened up when I said “Hi,” to the kid I work with who started asking the right questions, and a variety of other opportunities have shown me that this is the right ministry for me at this time of my life.

    I have found it to also be true that I have a better perspective of the challenge that I lay before my parishioners every time I invite them to volunteer for something. The pressure of juggling job, family, and church activities can be immense, and I now am reminded of this with all I am doing.

    Bi-vocational ministry has given me a different type credibility with my people. When I say I understand the business of life, or invite them to “minister” right where they find themselves each and every day, or even extend the call to live a life of holiness, my people know that I am dealing with similar issues as they do when they deal and live through these issues. WOW! What an incredible ministry God is allowing me to have!

    1. Brent,
      There are benefits to bivocational ministry we might not see right away, and you have hit the nail on the head! As we live out our faith right next to the people we minister to we are given opportunities that someone who is fully-funded might never have. I praise the Lord for the ministry you have found and pray that you will also find effective ways to deal with all of those pressures you mentioned. Keep it up!

      Ray Mann

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