What is Bi-Vocational Ministry?

What is bi-vocational ministry?  On the most basic level it is a model of ministry where one serving the church has another job in addition to his or her job as pastor.  For some, the pastoral job is their primary financial support and the additional job merely provides supplemental income.  For others, the church does not pay them anything and they are fully supported by their other job.  And there is every arrangement in between.  For most, a passion for the church drives them; if asked, they would describe their service in the church as their “calling.”  Yet their “other” job is not extraneous.  It is central to who they are as people and to the impact they are having for the Kingdom.

In many ways the bi-vocational life is a balancing act, and it is not easy.  But many are finding it to be an effective way to reach one’s community, and that the benefits of this model of ministry help balance the drawbacks.  Beyond this, there are strong indications that the bi-vocational model is the direction the church is headed, or at least is on the rise, and those in church leadership would be wise to consider the implications of this shift.