I planted The City Church in 2010, a year after the stock market crashed. We started with 20 people in a living room, and even with the generous support of friends, families, and organizations, there was no way I could pull a full-time salary. When I got the chance to teach part-time public speaking courses at Texas Christian University, I jumped at it—primarily as a means of support but also because I had already spent four years ministering to that campus. Today our church has seen significant growth, is financially "stable," and we have multiple elders and deacons. Some are financially supported; others are not. Three years in, the church could pay me a full-time salary, but I'm still bi-vocational and—don't fall out of your chair—I hope that's always the case.
Generally seen as a last-ditch option, bi-vocationality is a necessity for many in today's economic climate. Especially in new churches or smaller ministries, pastors hesitantly turn to a second source of income for as little time as humanly possible. But I'm here to tell you it's one of the best things I've ever experienced. Here are five ways God can use bi-vocationality to serve his kingdom.
1. Stewarding God's money
Between my two jobs, God provides adequately for my family. One of the organizations for which I work even defines the hours I give them as enough to warrant health benefits. That's not true of every part-time job, but at least some workplaces (most famously, Starbucks) extend benefits without requiring 40 hours.
Consider the benefit to God's church. By working at TCU for the past three years, our church has been able to put money toward things that we couldn't otherwise. We send more to missions, we help hurting couples who can't ...