Friday, December 21, 2012

The lies bivocational ministers believe

Anyone who has been a bivocational minister for a period of time has heard certain things said about that ministry.  Sometimes, we even wonder such things ourselves.  I'm thinking of things like
  1. If God had really called you into ministry you would be serving full-time in a significant church.
  2. You evidently don't have the skills (or faith) to serve in a real church.
  3. You are wasting your time serving in that church.
  4. If you weren't bivocational your church would be growing by now.
I could list many more I've heard in my three-plus decades of bivocational ministry, but these are enough.  The sad thing is that I've wondered about these at times about my own ministry.  Even sadder is that many people believe they are true.  They are not.  These are lies intended to cause you to question God's call on your life.  Don't misunderstand, I don't think the people who say them intend to make false statements about your ministry nor do I think they are usually said with evil intentions.  They are said by people who do not understand the call God has placed on your life and who do not know what God is doing in the church today.

For the past several years we have seen an increase in bivocational ministers serving in smaller churches, and even in some larger ones depending on how you measure large and small churches.  This is happening across denominations, and I am convinced the trend will continue into 2013 and beyond.  These bivocational ministers come from a wide variety of secular experiences and run the gamut of education.  The one thing they have in common is that they have heard the call of God to be bivocational ministers, and they have accepted the challenge. 

If I could give the bivocational ministers who read this blog one gift this Christmas season, it would be the gift of encouragement.  I encourage you to rejoice in the calling God has placed in your life.  It is not a lesser or greater calling than what other ministers have experienced; it is your calling to serve your particular church at this particular time in your life.  Think about this: God has looked into the hearts of those who follow Him and has chosen you to serve Him and His church in this manner.  He could have chosen countless millions of other people, but He chose you and annointed you to serve your church.  You are not only important to your church, you are vital to the Kingdom of God because of your willingness to be obedient to God's call on your life.

Do not let the enemy rob you of your joy in serving.  Do not let those who do not understand your call to ministry discourage you.  Almighty God, the Creator of all the universe, has called YOU, and gifted YOU, and annointed YOU to serve Him in this way.  Rejoice in that call and commit to making 2013 the best year of your ministry.

In 2000 I wrote my first book Tentmaking Pastor, The: The Joy of Bivocational Ministry to encourage and help bivocational ministers.  It is now out of print but is still available on Kindle.  You can order a copy of it by clicking on the above title.

May you have a most blessed Christmas and never take your eyes off your calling.

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