The Bi-vocational Pastor “A Hero of the Faith!”

Posted: June 22, 2012 in Church Revitalization, Missional Evangelism, Understanding the Great Commission

When I was in seminary in the 90’s one of my professors Dr. Don Aderhold, was my New Testament Greek and New Testament professor. He used to say that “The pastor of the future will be bi-vocational.” How true is this statement and has come to fruition.

 In my work for the last eleven years mostly with a national mission agency, I worked with several bi-vocational pastors. For example just last week I worked with two pastors in metro New Orleans-Metairie,Louisiana, both who are bi-vocational. The Director of Missions informed us last year that “of the 100 pastors in the New Orleans Baptist Association about 80 percent were bi-vocational.”

 During my inner city/urban church revitalization ministry of the almost 100 pastors I have worked with an estimated 80 percent were bi-vocational. The factors indicate that the majority of our pastors are in small churches that are not able to financially support their pastors.

 My philosophy in ministry and one of my teaching principles is that Jesus called us to go and make disciples. Not every pastor will grow a church to enormous size. But he can grow a church if he teaches and leads by example in biblical evangelism.

 Jesus did not make a mistake when He commanded His followers to go and make or win disciples. The church is supposed to be like a “nursery” or “green house” for new disciples. The church will reproduce if we are going evangelizing lost people. From our evangelism efforts then we will see groups of new believers forming with the potential of becoming a church. This is the New Testament method or plan that Jesus intended and the apostle Paul practiced.

 If it were not for bi-vocational missionary evangelist like the apostle Paul and the many other present day pastors, some communities would not have a church or place of worship. These men and their wives are the real warriors in the harvest field. They work 30 to 40 hours a week then spend another 30 to 40 hours a week taking care of the workings of the church. Then add the situations dealing with problems in the church or a family in the community.

 After being saved in 1984 God called me to return to college to pursue an Associate of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. This degree was for men who were already serving in ministry at some capacity. Thank God for NOBTS and their vision to equip men who were bi-vocational. God led me to pursue a Bachelor of Arts, Masters of Divinity and later a Doctor of Ministry.

 For many of the bi-vocational pastors they will never be President of the Pastor’s Conference, nor will they be President of the Southern Baptist Convention. But in God’s book, they are “Heroes of the faith.” Thank God for these men who give some much and get little recognition.

 

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