March 28, 2007

In Praise of the Bi-Vocational Pastor

I had the opportunity to spend some time with a bi-vocational pastor from our association yesterday and was reminded what a unique and special creature people like him are. Work one job Monday thru Friday, visit folks in hospitals and homes after hours, plan a prepare a sermon at some point in the week and then still find time to be a family man. I struggle to get all of these things done in a full-time capacity. For the life of me, I cannot imagine how these guys do it all. There is a part of me that wants to ask, "Why?" but I quickly answer my own question. I assure you it is not because the money is irresistibly good! Men like these are men who are living under a clear call from God. Certainly there are exceptions to this. However, the bulk of these men would have no other discernible reason to put themselves in such a position except that they are called to shepherd a local gathering of believers.

I thank God for men like these. If you happen to be the member of a church blessed with a bi-vocational pastor be sure you let him know of your appreciation for the work he does. Spend some time praying for him each day. Pray that God will keep him clean and keep him close. Pray that he will find time to rest. Even as you pray for your bi-vocational pastor listen for ways you can serve him.

When our state convention reports that fully 53% of churches are led by bi-vocational pastors it is time for all the "big dogs" to realize that much of the work is not happening in the big places. It's happening in little communities with little churches doing little things and placing them in the hands of a BIG God. I personally plan to find one bi-vocational pastor each week for the next 4 weeks and take them to lunch (on me!). Maybe you can do something for one of these marvels of the church.

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