The February issue of Baptists Today carries a two page interview John Pierce,editor of the magazine, did with me about bivocational ministry. He asked questions regarding the numbers of bivocational ministers currently serving in churches and the unique challenges and opportunities associated with such ministry. I appreciated the opportunity to respond and to have bivocational ministry highlighted in this publication.
What excites me is the growing awareness of the important role bivocational ministry provides to the Kingdom of God. When I began as a bivocational pastor in 1981 bivocational ministry was largely ignored. Persons who served in such ministries were often looked down upon by others in ministry. Denominational leaders seemed to have little interest in bivocational ministers and the churches they served. Resources were developed only for the larger churches. That is all changing now.
More and more we see articles like this one. I have already been contacted by three judicatory leaders from two different denominations about speaking at their annual meetings this year, and none of these leaders are from the denomination in which I serve. Denominational leaders are looking at how they can better identify persons called to this ministry and the best ways to provide training for those who want it. Resources are being developed specifically for bivocational ministers and the churches they serve
There are several reasons for this interest in bivocational ministry, but one of the important reasons is the quality work that many of you are doing in your churches. Your ministries are being noticed. People see the dedication you bring to your work; they see the love you have for the people you serve; and they see the results of your efforts, and no longer can anyone say that bivocational ministry is a lesser ministry. The Kingdom of God is advancing through the efforts of both bivocational ministers and fully-funded ministers faithfully living out God's call on their lives, and people in leadership positions now see that it takes both to have the greatest impact on our world. To all my bivocational friends, keep up the good work and one day you'll hear the sweetest words you could ever hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant...."
If you are interested in reading the article the magazine is now available or you can subscribe to the electronic edition at http://www.baptiststoday.org/ and read it there.