In this episode of the 5 Leadership Questions podcast Todd Adkins and I talk with Eric Geiger about the good, the bad, the benefits, and the challenges of bivocational ministry. We talk about it from the perspective of both the church and of the pastor. And you may not know this, but Eric is a bivocational minister, serving as both the VP of LifeWay’s Resources Division and as the Senior Pastor of Clearview Church in Brentwood, TN. THat means we have a real life expert on the show! Enjoy as we explore the following questions.
- Is bivocational ministry making a comeback as church planting grows and the church culture changes?
- Is bivocational ministry better for churches and for the pastor than full time pastoring?
- What are the benefits for the church and pastor?
- What are the challenges for the church and pastor?
- What made you want to serve bi-vocationally?
“It’s not making a comeback. It’s been here for years.”
“In many cases bi-vocational ministry is a financial reality.”
“If life is ministry and ministry is life it’s hard to set boundaries.”
“When you’re talking to your congregation about being slat and light in the workplace they know that you’re also being salt and light in the workplace.”
“Bi-vocational ministry is becoming more prominent in the states in larger church contexts.”
“When we say “bi-vocational” it could be someone is paid or someone is not.”
“Clinging to old ways of doing things might not make sense.”
“You can’t grow into spiritual maturity without using your gifts in service to Christ.”
“A tiny church can be really healthy without the burden of finances.”
“A church can get upside down on staffing in a budget quicker than anything else.”
“Bivocational can send the signal that we have a pastor whose roll isn’t to do everything.”
“It helps a pastor be connected to the community.”
“It helps a pastor face the regular rhythm of what’s happening in the pews.”
“The downside of bivocational ministry hinges on one word: expectations.”
“You will have serious opportunity cost at every turn.”
“You have to develop a strong framework and be disciplined to stick to it.”
“People are not called necessarily to a single thing.”
“People think they have to go on church staff if they’re called into ministry. But we’re all called into ministry.”
“At LifeWay, we’re addicted to the local church.”
“Bivocational is not the junior varsity pastor position.”