Earlham School of Religion will host a Pastor's Conference that will explore "Bivocational Ministry for the 21st Century" on March 21, 2016. Earlham is located in Richmond, Indiana. I have been asked to present the Keynote address for this event. Throughout the day there will be panels of pastors and congregants speaking on bivocational ministry as well as a report given on new research that ESR professor Phil Baisley has been doing. This promises to be an excellent event for anyone interested in bivocational ministry, and I am honored to have been asked to have a part. You can read more about the event and find online registration here.
It is exciting to me to see so much research and focus being done on bivocational ministry. When I was a bivocational pastor from 1981-2001 I cannot remember a single conference offered specifically for bivocational ministers. Perhaps there were some of which I was not aware, but I cannot recall anyone offering such a conference. For the past few years numerous denominations and schools have scheduled conferences that addresses bivocational ministry. As bivocational ministry continues to grow across denominations the number of such conferences are also growing. I am currently scheduled to speak at several of these in 2016.
I want to encourage the readers of this blog to locate some of these conferences and make plans to attend. Many of these offer excellent resources and information. Some offer just one primary speaker while others have several workshops to choose from. It's also encouraging to meet other bivocational ministers at these events. So often, we can feel that we are almost out here by ourselves doing this ministry. The fact is that there are many bivocational ministers, and we need to connect with one another.
This conference should be a good one. I'm interested in hearing what Phil has learned in his research, and I'm looking forward to hearing the panel discussions. I expect each will be very informative and encouraging. If you are able, I encourage you to register for this event.