There are many fallacies of bivocationalism. Perhaps the worst is that the bivocational minister is only in “part-time ministry.” No, he is in full time ministry. All Christians are called to be ministers of the Gospel and to use the gifts and callings the Lord has given them; not all are called “to preach.” Nonetheless, bivocational ministers are not part-time although they may give on average 20-30 hours per week to the church on top of their “secular” vocation. Another fallacy is that bivocationalism is only for struggling churches who cannot support a full-time pastor. Again, this is true in some cases, but a growing number of churches of considerable size have a staff of bivocational pastors who fill different roles with their specific gifts and calling. Still another fallacy is that bivocationals are not totally dedicated to the Lord’s calling on their lives. On the contrary, many bivocationals are very adamant about their call to preach from the Lord, yet recognize that He has not called them to do it as a “job”—they aren’t hirelings and are pastoring where the Lord has placed them, not where they could get the best paycheck. The last fallacy that will be discussed here is the fallacy that bivocationalism can’t work and isn’t healthy for a minister. On the contrary throughout history and the Biblical record, most ministers called by the Lord appear to be bivocational. The prophets were bivocational at best if not completely self-supported. The early Christian deacons and elders were bivocational in many instances. Early preachers in America were almost always farmers, school teachers, or mercantile owners in addition to their church work. Bivocationalism is how the church often moves into new communities and meets people were they are with the Gospel message.
Ryan Marks is Director of Focusing on the Mark Ministries and an Author, Bible Teacher, and Support Specialist. He has a passion for discipleship and Bible study. You'll find him contributing to FMM as a blogger, video teacher, and podcaster. Ryan holds a B.A. in Communications from Thomas Edison State University and is a seminary student at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary studying theology and Christian education. Ryan enjoys hiking through nature, reading, and spending time with his family and local church. Ryan hopes to one day serve a Christian university or online program helping prepare students for Christian education and to continue writing books and curriculum to help the local church make disciples. Ryan's business endeavors and bio can be found on RyanMMarks.com