Jump directly to the Content

The Turbulent Calling of Bivocational Ministry

Three honest stories about its rewards and challenges.
The Turbulent Calling of Bivocational Ministry
Image: Photo by Eugenio Marongiu / Getty

Ministry is changing, and so is the profile of those going into it. For many, it is no longer about leaving another life behind; it is about answering God’s call alongside—or even within—the vocation one already has or wants. One study in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion found that an increasing number of female and single ministers are going bivocational, and that the ministry model is becoming more popular in secular regions of the country. In 2017, the Association of Theological Schools reported that 30 percent of seminary grads expect to be bivocational.

Many sing the praises of the bivocational model—and not just for the economic stability it provides. With one foot planted firmly in the secular world, bivocational pastors are able to form relationships with people unlikely to step into a church unprompted.

While pastor and missional thinker Lance Ford has seen more and more church planting lean toward a bivocational model, he has also seen its ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Why Pastors Make Great Counselors
Why Pastors Make Great Counselors
From the Magazine
What the Heavens Declared to a Young Astronomer
What the Heavens Declared to a Young Astronomer
How I learned that the same God who numbered the stars knew and loved me personally.
Editor's Pick
Read Your Bible Through a Kaleidoscope
Read Your Bible Through a Kaleidoscope
Multicolored scholarship expands biblical interpretation beyond traditional Eurocentric perspectives.
close