Friday, October 2, 2015

Training for bivocational ministers

As I talk with leaders from numerous denominations I find that there is a wide variation in the educational levels of their bivocational pastors. This is in line with my own survey of bivocational ministers in American Baptist Churches, USA which I conducted in 2004. I found that the educational levels ranged from those who had PhDs to others who had a high school education. Those who know my story know that I began my pastoral ministry with no education beyond high school.

Each of the leaders I spoke to agreed that training their growing numbers of bivocational ministers was often a challenge. Declining revenues common to most denominational bodies today also means less money available for training. Much of the training that is offered is not specific to bivocational and small church settings so many pastors from these churches do not attend the training that is offered. It also doesn't help that this training is often offered during the day time when bivocational ministers may be at their other jobs.

For 20 years I served as the bivocational pastor of a small church in rural Indiana. I left that ministry to become a regional minister in our denomination working with many bivocational and smaller church leaders. In the past 14 years I have published a number of books on small church and bivocational ministry and led seminars and workshops for numerous denominations.

At the end of this year I will retire from my denominational work and will be available to lead more training events for church leaders. I have several seminars that I have led in the US and Canada that are specifically designed to speak to the needs of small church and bivocational leaders. At every event someone will come to me during a break and ask, "When did you visit our church? You've described it perfectly." The material I present is applicable to to every small church.

If you are interested in providing a training event for your bivocational and small church leaders in 2016 I invite you to contact me to see if we might be able to partner together to make this event happen. I already have three such training events scheduled for 2016 and would love to work with you to help equip your small church leaders.

You can contact me at  I would love to hear from you.

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