Thursday, June 25, 2015

Viewpoint: Cautions Against Bi-vocational Ministry

For three years, I worked as a bi-vocational pastor. It was hard and I would do it again. There are many bi-vocational pastors all over the world whose ministry will never, as far as they can tell, be able to support them as pastors and so they willingly work in other industries and, of course, there are church planters who are sent out with small core teams and some cash and they work until the church is sustainable to support his salary.

What concerns me is the rising momentum behind bi-vocational pastoring as a strategy for mission and church planting. There are many who are worried that finances aren’t available for the kind of church planting that we should be accomplishing (See Ed Stetzer and Jimmy Scroggins). “The math doesn’t work,” says Jimmy Scroggins. It’s just too expensive, especially in urban places, where church planting is most needed. Pastors need to become more comfortable about potentially never getting a paycheck from the church. Others, like David Fitch and Geoff Holsclaw, argue that it’s more missionally strategic to be bi-vocational as a pastor and want to change the culture of pastoring in the United States. These are just a few examples. But I have some cautions. Keep reading

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