Thursday, 1 December 2011


I found this list on the Anglican 1000 USA website. I've heard a lot of people talk about bi-vocational Ministry here in the UK, but have yet to see very many good, positive examples. I personally think it could be a great development, missionally speaking, but my fear is it will merely be seen as a recipe to solve finances. The testimony of other denominations who have approached bi-vocational Ministry, motivated by financial, or structural concerns has been, again only in my opinion, disastrous. In some ways it boils down to what ministry is primarily released? A primarily pastoral mode will not be  a blessing, whereas an apostolic leadership mode of operating could be hugely beneficial. Anyway, have a look at these for yourself  ....
1. We have more relationships outside the church, and if the outside work is in the secular marketplace we know more non-belivers.
2. Being employed “outside” gives us a rapport with our parishioners that full timers don’t have. We finally understand why laypeople love weekends so much, but we’re not in a position to take advantage of them.
3. We have far less time to prepare a sermon or a Bible study, or to just hang out with the laity; and sometimes we feel very badly about that.
4. The pastor and people’s commitment to one another must be ironclad because churches led by bi-vocational clergy will usually be smaller, have fewer resources, and develop much more slowly. This bond will be tested.
5. Successful bi-vocational clergy have to be ruthless in their time management, and if they become workaholics they’d likely crash sooner and worse.
6. If we work full time in our outside job we are probably more financially secure than most fully-supported clergy. On the other hand we rarely have a day-off unless the outside employer gives us one—so much for the 4th Commandment. Isolation and burnout can be a real problem.
7. A church’s clergy and laity have to be equally committed to bi-vocational ministry. While the pastor has the spiritual oversight, laity must step up to do some of the work that a fully-supported minister would normally perform; and still, a lot of work just won’t get done.
8. Conferences and services for clergy are built around the fully-supported clergy model and are held on weekdays and in locations we can’t get to. So we are less networked in the diocese and must build our own support systems in the field.
9. Bi-vocational ministers don’t like the word, “part-time.” We are always on-call and always talking to God about our people.
10. Speaking personally, when I get home Sunday evening I can exchange hi-fives with my wife because no matter how the sermon went, I’m not going to get fired!
Oh, couldn't resist another picture! 

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