At this point in time all of us  (at least in this area of the world) are aware of the technological wonders that can make ministry a bit more ‘user-friendly’.  One of the main ways this has worked in my own favor has been my usage of the resources at  The sources are good and easy to use.  I can cut-and-paste verses or quotes from various commentaries, compare versions and access it even from my phone if need be.

As for other tech, I have preached from printed notes most of the time, but on several occasions I have resorted to using my tablet or and iPad in the pulpit.  However, technology can and DOES have drawbacks.  I came across an interesting article for those of you who might be thinking of going this route.

Check out Brandon Hilgemann’s cautionary tale here, at

Do you have any good cautionary tales of your own?  We’d love to hear them!


coachingDo you have a mentor or a coach? We have discussed this in the past on this site and I truly believe you need to have someone who can ask the tough questions and who is willing to build into your life and ministry. As Dr. Howard Hendricks of Dallas Theological Seminary would say, “You need a ‘Paul’ in your life!’

One of my favorite authors and authorities specifically on bivocational ministry is Dr. Dennis Bickers.  He has served as a bivocational pastor and church leader working primarily with smaller churches. Here is a great article by Dr. Bickers on his blog, and the subject of why coaching might be right for you…

Click HERE to go to the article.

Happy reading!

Sometimes it is so easy to forget what we h(Source: right close to hand. Maybe being close makes you takes things for granted, maybe you get used to something and don’t even think about it. Like a New Yorker who has never bothered to visit the Statue of Liberty or a Bostonian who has never gone to see the USS Constitution. Sometimes maybe we are even intimidated by what other people think of what THEY have. I have a cousin who visited from Texas when he was about 12 years old. When we asked him what he thought about New England, he said (in that annoying way Texans can have), “I’m absolutely amazed…we drove across three states in one day. In Texas we couldn’t get from one end of the county to the other in one day!”

So when you start talking about things like National or State Parks, and how big they are or how many attractions are there, you might think of a place like Yellowstone, or the Great Smoky Mountains. HUGE places with large expanses of wilderness. Places that loom large in our minds.

This last week I spent some time in a place fairly close to us in Vermont, in upstate New York in the Adirondack Park. Small pickings compared to the western parks, right? You want the truth? The Adirondack Park is the largest park and the largest state-level protected area in the contiguous United States, and the largest National Historic Landmark. It is larger in land area than the state of Vermont (9,400 sq-miles versus 9,250 sq-miles), covering 6.1 million acres. It is larger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier, and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks combined! There are more than 3,000 lakes and 30,000 miles (48,000 km) of streams and rivers. Many areas within the park are devoid of settlements and distant from usable roads. The park includes over 2,000 miles (3,200 km) of hiking trails; these trails comprise the largest trail system in the nation. (source:

Yes, sometimes it is easy to forget what you have when you are so close to it. Don’t we do that in our spiritual life, too? We forget who and what we are in Jesus Christ. We forget the Kingdom of Heaven is not just for when we die, but it lives within every believer! We have a vast power contained within us, with the Holy Spirit giving light and life. But we forget, and our light is hidden under a basket, so to speak. I am convinced that our quality of life is thereby infinitely diminished.

I went back to our family’s home-away-from-home this last week, Inlet, New York in the Adirondack Park, and re-discovered what I had lost. I found myself longing for the woods, the waterways and the life that is there. I even longed for the smell of the forest. And I find myself longing for the life of the Kingdom of Heaven, here on earth. It is not far, it is close. But I have hidden it away.

It is time to find it again. Would you join me?

“As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ ”
Matthew 10:6-8 (NIV)

(This post was originally published by Ray Mann at ‘The View From Vermont’ on 7/22/2011

(Source: "")There is a lot of talk about how to use social media these days, but not much on how NOT use social media.  Sometimes it can be just as important to know what not to do as well as what you should be doing.  I happened across an interesting blog post by Peter Mead over at, and want to pass it along to you.  The purpose of this is not to just get you to nod in agreement or shake your head in disagreement; the purpose is to get you to actively think about what you are doing and how people perceive it.  Remember, it is not our intention that matters so much as how people perceive what we do. And what we as pastors do reflects on the Body of Christ.  Click the link below to read the article, and enjoy!

3 Weird Things To Avoid Doing on Social Media


(Source: new and useful resources for the bi-vocational pastor is right up at the top of our priority list.  Pastors need to be connected to resources which go beyond the purview of this website..we can’t do EVERYTHING, right?  So, in line with that philosophy, here is a link to a website called “Pastoral Care, Inc.” which specializes in providing encouragement and care for the pastor. Click here for the site homepage for Pastoral Care, Inc.

Of particular interest is an article on Bi-vocational Pastors, where there is a list of eight suggestions for the bivocational (or prospective bivo) to maintain sanity!  Click Here for Bivocational Pastors article

Happy reading!

[cryout-pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]”…the best sermons put ‘God’ or ‘Jesus’ right into the application points. When you stand to preach, you’re not just giving a moralistic pep talk. You want to change lives, and the power for changed lives comes only from God.”[/cryout-pullquote] In exploring various web resources I occasionally discover something I think is worth passing along.  The goal and mission of Bivopastor.Net is to bring those resources to your attention.

I received an email this morning pointing me to an article by Rev. Rick Warren concerning sermon construction.  Bivocational pastors know that the biggest job they have in terms of time spent is preaching from the pulpit.  The typical sermon takes several hours at least to formulate and research, so we want to be sure that those sermons are truly fitted to be instruments God can use to change lives.  As Rev. Warren states in his article, “…the best sermons put ‘God’ or ‘Jesus’ right into the application points. When you stand to preach, you’re not just giving a moralistic pep talk. You want to change lives, and the power for changed lives comes only from God.”

Regardless of whether you use liturgical resources, preach topically or exegetically, write full manuscript, outline or expanded outline, this article provides some points for you to think about as you prepare your messages.

Follow this link to read this Rev. Rick Warren’s article on creating strong sermon points.  Leave a comment below with your thoughts after you read the article!


decisionsPastoral ministry has been changing character for the last 30 years or so.  There are times when all of us in bivocational ministry ask questions, reflecting a pastoral ministry landscape that is in flux.  The very fact that it is in flux generates self-doubt and sometimes even discouragement.   “Does what I am doing really matter?” “Is this a valid mode of ministry?”  “Is this real ministry or am I just a wanna-be?””Should I be here?”  These are the kinds of questions we ask ourselves.

Thomas Rainer is the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, a blogger, an author and a speaker.  He is also currently serving as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary.  “ Recently I came across a blog Rev. Rainer wrote, entitled “10 Reasons Bivocational Ministry Matters” where he attempts to answer some of these questions about bivocational ministry, whether we are in this mode because we chose it, or it was chosen for us. Follow this link to see what Rev. Rainer has to say.  Click here.


traffic_turnaroundThere are many different scenarios in which a bivocational pastor may serve.  One of these is in the context of a ‘turnaround’, or ‘church revitalization’.  These are churches which have either plateaued for a long time or have been in decline.  Many turnaround churches have lost the financial ability to pay a full salary, so they seek a bivocational pastor by necessity.  One way you know you are in a turnaround church is when the District Superintendent asks you to pastor a church with the comment, “This is the church’s last chance, either it comes alive or we are going to close it!”.

It takes a very particular kind of person to pastor a revitalization church.  An interesting study has come out that pinpoints some of the qualities of a successful “turnaround pastor”.  Take a look a the following article and feel free to comment on it here.  Do you find their results are useful?  Why or why not?

Link to article, click here.

wise_owlThere are many questions surrounding the issue of bivocational ministry. Sometimes, however, the questions being asked are the wrong ones. Some of these may come from our education and training, some may be from life experience. Regardless, we need to start asking the right questions.

Dennis Bickers is an author, blogger, former bivocational pastor and presently is a judicatory leader for small churches and bivocational ministers. He recently wrote a post on exactly this subject. Take a look at his blog post, “Bivocational Ministry: Asking the wrong questions about bivocational ministry” and while you are there take a look at the rest of his articles!

Learn the RIGHT questions to ask!