So last week we looked at some of the surprising plusses of being a bi-vocational ministry. However, there are a few challenges that Bi-vocational ministers face, that full time salaried pastors do not. For example,

  1. Getting to trainings and conventions. For the most part, trainings and conventions for pastors are done during the work week, not on the weekend. This means that the bi-vocational ministers must usually give up their paid time off from work to attend pastoral trainings and conventions. Talk about going all in! And if their church cannot pay their way, they will also be paying their own way to that training or convention. These committed pastors are so called and passionate about ministry that they give up their time off and personal money to be at the trainings. And what about those pastors who cannot attend trainings or conventions because they simply cannot afford to pay for it all themselves or cannot get the time off of work? Sometimes this only reinforces any feelings that minister may have about being “not a real pastor” or “less called” than a “real” pastor. Plainly said, even though there is a sharp rise in the number bi-vocational ministry pastors, trainings and conferences are still clearly shaped for full time pastors. But I am so excited to see some brand new changes at just a few conferences, to offer targeting training just for bi-vocational ministers. I hope this only continues and increases!
  2. Budget in general. In too many cases, a bi-vocational minister is pouring their OWN personal finances into the ministry that they are so passionate about. It usually starts with, “OH, I’m just paying for this myself because I know the church can’t afford it yet. It’s just until the church really takes off.” But this season usually goes on longer than most people imagine it will. This is tough on that minister’s family finances.
  3. Time. Let’s just face it. A full time or part-time job is a sacrifice of time. Even though it is a necessary sacrifice, it obviously leaves LESS overall time to study for messages, to prepare or to further your education. However, as we stated in part one, this often means that bi-vocational ministers must use every moment of time to the best of their ability. Bi-vocational ministers become “ninjas” at making it all happen, and getting “it all” done.
  4. Being looking on by others or ourselves. As we briefly covered in part 1, too many bi-vocational pastors do not think of themselves as “real pastors” yet or as much of a pastor as the full time people. God doesn’t have second class kids or second class pastors. A calling is a calling- and it’s irrevocable. And you are in GREAT company- Paul, Priscilla, Aquila, Lydia and thousands of others throughout history and all around us right now.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               What about you? What challenges do you think bi-vocational pastors face that full time pastors may not understand?      Love Trisha201302_098_Tent_art