Friday, August 19, 2016

Bivocational ministers get to minister in two jobs

One of the exciting things about bivocational ministry is the opportunities such ministry provides to minister in both worlds. Of course, a bivocational pastor has the opportunity to minister to people in his or her congregation, but we are also often allowed to minister to people in our other work setting. Some of these are people who would never consider entering a church building, but because we have built relationships with them we are allowed to minister to them at unexpected times.

Since getting my auctioneer's license people have asked why I decided to do something like this at my age. I enjoy it for several reasons, but being an auctioneer also allows me to minister to people outside the church setting. I've had people ask me about doing an auction for them, and when I've gone to look at what they want to sell they would begin to open up about some pain in their lives. At that point, if they do not already know, I mention that I am a retired minister. If it seems appropriate I ask if it would be OK to pray for them, and I've never been turned down. I then ask if they have a church home, and if not I will recommend a church in the area to them.

This doesn't happen every time I view items people want me to sell for them, but it does happen often enough to give me a sense that I am touching people for Christ who never darken the door of a church. I firmly believe that God opens up these doors of opportunity.

There are other ways I'm able to minister to people as an auctioneer.

  • Some people make their living picking, buying and selling. Often, they resell through an auctioneer. I am helping them provide for themselves and meet the needs of their families.
  • As people move into assisted living facilities or decide to downsize they find they cannot take everything with them. Oftentimes, they also find out that family members are not interested in their possessions. The only thing they can do is to sell those items they can no longer keep, and the easiest way to do that is through an auction. Many of my auctions come from this scenario.
  • When a loved one dies family members may find out they have inherited a lot of things they don't want. In many cases, the individual owned far more than anyone in the family realized. It's not uncommon for the heirs to feel overwhelmed. If they live some distance from the estate they may feel even more stressed as they consider what to do with everything. For these people an auction often makes sense. As an auctioneer I can relieve some of the stress they are feeling.
Each of these are legitimate ministry opportunities. In retirement I find that I preach somewhere nearly every Sunday, but being an auctioneer allows me to connect with people outside the church, and those connections often allows me to introduce them to Christ if they are not already Christian.

If you are a bivocational minister, how are you able to extend your ministry to your other work?

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