Friday, July 24, 2015

TV show about bivocational ministers

Earlier this week I had a very interesting call from an individual doing research for a possible television program about bivocational ministers who are also in law enforcement. Part of the reason for the call was to get background information on bivocational ministry in general and to ask if I knew of any bivocational ministers who were in law enforcement. (I did not.) The caller then asked if the following could be posted on my blog.

Are you a bivocational preacher and in law enforcement? Are you on the pulpit one moment and in a dangerous line of work in another? We’re an award-winning top television production company that’s looking to make a program about preachers across the states juggling it all – church, family and the law. If interested, please send us an email describing why you would be the best person to host this show, along with a recent photo and contact info. Please send to

Obviously, I agreed to the posting! Let me be very clear: I am not representing this television production company nor do I have any ties with the company. This should not be viewed as an endorsement of what they are doing. I agreed to post this on my blog as a courtesy to them, and to give those who might meet their criteria an opportunity to respond.

There was one other reason I agreed. When I did a survey of bivocational ministers in 2004 one or two respondents reported that their other career was in law enforcement. I am very curious about how many bivocational ministers there are who are serving in law enforcement. Whether you respond to the request of the television production company or not, I would like to know if any of my readers are bivocational ministers who also serve in law enforcement.

As I've thought about this over the past couple of days, I would think that would be a tough role. How does one switch from being pastoral in ministry to being rather authoritarian in the other career? Is there actually much of a switch, or am I wrong in thinking there is? 

If you are serving both as a pastor and in law enforcement, I invite you to contact me and share some of the challenges and rewards you face in these two roles. If you are a bivocational pastor serving in some other career that, on the surface at least seems opposed to one another, I would like to hear from you as well.


Ronnie Brown said...

Dennis, This production company stumbled across my website ( a few weeks ago and I pointed them in your direction. I figured you would know a lot more bi-vocational preachers than me. I knew a bi-vocational preacher several years ago that worked as a firefighter. He was a layman at the time and we would preach at the local county jail together. He always had great stories and illustrations from that line of work. He has since gone on to a fully-funded pastor role. When I spoke with this production company, I agreed that it would make for some interesting television, but they might have a hard time finding a pastor that has such a role in law enforcement simply because of the work schedule. The schedule that these men in blue work would not be easy to balance with a pulpit ministry. Not to say it cannot be done. But I just believe it will be hard to find. I hope they do. For I would surely love to see a reality show about a man of God in a small church environment, doing all that he can to obey the call of God on his life. Anyway, thanks for this blog and all the encouragement and insight you give us bivocational pastors!
Ronnie Brown

Dennis Bickers said...

Ronnie, Thanks for sending them my way. I had a very enjoyable conversation with the individual who contacted me as I'm sure you did. There were a lot of sincere questions about bivocational ministry in general. I also cautioned the caller about the challenge of finding someone who would fit what they are seeking. Working in a factory or being self-employed is one thing. but I agree that someone in law enforcement might struggle even more with time issues as a pastor. Like you, I would love to see it happen.