Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Bivocational churches in Mongolia

This past week I was working at my computer when I received a message from a pastor in Mongolia. He explained he was working on a DMin and his focus was on bivocational ministry. He told me that before 1991 there were no churches in Mongolia; there are now over 500 churches, 40% of which are led by bivocational ministers. He is a bivocational minister of one of those churches and is working on this degree to be better able to help his fellow bivocational pastors in Mongolia. He wanted to connect with me and ask if he could contact me in the future with any questions he might have as he works on this degree. Of course, I encouraged him to do so.

As I've shared before in this blog, about once or twice a year I am contacted by individuals working on a DMin project with a bivocational theme. A couple of those contacts have come from overseas, but never one like this most recent one. My first reaction was amazement that God can use an old farm boy from southeast Indiana to help a fellow pastor in Mongolia. My second reaction was to note how bivocational ministry is spreading throughout the world.

Tentmakers around the world are serving congregations as the Kingdom of God is spreading. Many of these men and women have little to no formal theological education or training. They are simply being obedient to God's call on their lives, and God is blessing their work. Others are sensing God's call to come alongside these servants of God to support and train them. Both tribes are increasing, and this is exciting!

I share this story to remind you of two things. One is that you are not alone in serving as a bivocational minister. I know how easy it is to feel isolated and wonder if God has really called you to this ministry. Like Elijah we can feel that we are all alone, but the reality is that God is raising up bivocational ministers all around the world to serve His churches.

The second thing I want to do is to encourage you to pray for our fellow bivocational ministers and the churches they serve. The individual who contacted me said the bivocational ministers in Mongolia need a lot of help. He did not go into any detail, and I do not know their situation, but we all need to be praying for one another. The Gospel is being preached, the Kingdom of God is advancing around the world. Let's join together and pray for one another that we might all be fruitful to the task to which God has called us.

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