Three Factors Which Influence Calling a Bi-vocational Pastor
- 1. Limited Finances
- If the income of the church is not sufficient to pay the pastor an adequate salary, calling a Bi-vocational pastor is one of the best routes to pursue.
- In 2005, LBC Stats listed 945 Churches with undesignated annual receipts of $75,000 or less
- A church should not consider itself a fully-funded church if the pastor is trying to live on an inadequate salary or his wife is expected to work to make it possible for him to pastor the church.
- 2. The field is small.
- A Bi-vocational pastor should be considered if the church field is small and the number of prospects are few.
In 2005, LBC Stats listed:
653 Registered Bivocational pastors
945 Churches with $75,000 or less undesignated annual receipts plus 50 or less average Sunday morning attendence
48 Churches with more than $50,000 undesignated receipts but, 50 or less average Sunday morning attendence
1092 total Bivo's and/or Smaller Churches
- 3. The prospective pastor feels his call is to Bivocational Ministry.
- Many pastors believe God has called them to serve in a dual role.
They have a call to pastor in addition to a call in another vocation.
Some feel God would have them work at a second vocation to free more church funds for ministry and missions.
- During the selection process, some churches decide to call a pastor who is committed to a Bi-vocational role.
This most often proves to be a win/win situation for both church and pastor.
- What to Consider When Calling a Bi-vocational Pastor
- Both the church and pastor must have a positive attitude toward the Bi-vocational status.
- Both the church and pastor must understand the role each is to play.
- Each must hold realistic expectations of the other.
Some leadership roles may need to be assumed by laymen.
- The Bi-vocational pastor should have secular work that allows flexibility or his time to permit him to attend to emergencies or an understanding that certain lay leaders will cover those needs if the pastor is not available.
- A Bivocational pastro is not part-time. A better term would be that he is double duty . . . "Dual-Time".
- Items to be Negotiated by the Church and Prospective Bi-vocational Pastor
- The amount of time to be given by the pastor for ministry, study, and church administration.
- Plans for managing church activities and for maintenance of church facilities.
- Plans for responding to crises in the church family and community.
- A respectable salary package which includes housing, insurance, auto expenses, professional expenses, and retirement.
- The Advantages of Bi-vocational Status
- The financial base of both church and pastor is usually stronger.
- (The church can do more for missions and ministry.
- The pastorís family can live with less financial strain when there are two incomes).
- The Bi-vocational pastor often experiences greater freedom to lead because his total livelihood is not threatened by non-supportive leadership.
- More laity, become involved in the ministry of the church.
- The Bi-vocational pastor is not expected to be superman.
- The Bi-vocational pastor usually has more opportunities for personal witnessing because he serves two fields: the Church field and his secular work field.
- Time constraints (because of juggling two jobs) encourages better time management and delegation.
- The Bi-vocational church is more apt to allow their pastor to be real.