Welcome to bi-vocational.com! I hope you find this site informative, encouraging, and perhaps even empowering. The name for this site was chosen because the terminology of “bi-vocational” has become common among churches and in ministry circles, yet the term is misleading. In reality, each of us only has one vocation. Our vocation, our calling, is to love God—-specifically to accept the death and resurrection of Christ as a sacrifice for us, a sacrifice that changes everything. This primary vocation gets lived out not as we try to be good or religious or “Christian,” but as we die with Christ to ourselves and allow him to be in us and live through us. This is our vocation. How this vocation gets lived out specifically (as in what we do for a job) is often called our secondary vocation, yet this is not a separate vocation.  We have only one vocation: to love God and submit our lives to him, whatever that means.  (To read more on why no Christian is technically bi-vocational, see a nice blog post here).

Bi-vocational pastors have two jobs but only one vocation, just as this tree has one trunk with two offshoots.

When we speak of bi-vocational ministry, what is usually meant is a pastor who, in addition to his or her job as pastor, has another job “on the side.”  A job to “pay the bills.”  So when the term bi-vocational is used, what is meant is that a person has two jobs: one job as a pastor and another job to “support the call.”  For many, this arrangement is inferior to being in a full-time role.  Bi-vocational ministry, in this view, is only for those who are unable to work full-time at a church.  This viewpoint seems to have been dominant in years past, but in today’s cultural milieu there are many with quite a different take…

As many have discovered, particularly those passionate about moving away from the current model of church in America, there are many benefits to this arrangement.  I hope you’ll take the time to read through the site, either to gain more understanding of what this model of ministry looks like for others or to receive encouragement and courage to follow God’s call toward the bi-vocational model yourself.