This blog is part of a series of blogs and videos focused on helping pastors considering bivocational ministry. It will center on helping pastors make an informed decision by discussing the challenges and advantages faced by bivocational pastors as well as tips on managing time and responsibilities in the role.
Through a Lilly Endowment Grant, Texas Baptists Financial Health team has been working with pastors and ministers across the state since 2017, helping them become more financially healthy so they can be more effective in their ministry and continue serving in the church.
“We have seen, more frequently than not, and largely due to the impact of COVID-19 and inflation, pastors whose income from the church is not enough to provide for their family household expenses,” said Tammy Tervooren from the Financial Health team.
Pastors who find themselves in this situation often struggle for some time but aren’t sure where to get help or what to do. Texas Baptists provides free financial counseling to help pastors and ministers look at their family budgets and their income to help determine the best solutions for their family financially. Sometimes, simply making cuts to expenses helps, but in other cases, bivocational work is a viable alternative for the pastor to provide financially for their family, even if just temporarily.
“We partnered with Dr. Ira Antoine, who leads our Bivocational Pastor Ministry, to create a video series because over time, our ministry has found that bivocational work is a reasonable solution that is not often discussed because of the negative association churches and sometimes pastors may have toward being bivocational. But for many pastors and churches, it may be the key to the church’s and the pastor’s financial health.” said Tervooren.
Antoine said, “There is an emotional and psychological shift that pastors and churches work through when pastors consider becoming bivocational.” He goes on to say, “A pastor’s first priority is their family and its well-being which includes financial.”
In this series, we sit down with real pastors that are bivocational to share some of the advantages and disadvantages of being a bivocational pastor, explore what a transition to bivocational work looks like, and share how bivocational pastors prioritize their time and schedules to accommodate the demands of work and the congregation.
In the first video chapter, Dr. Ira Antoine talks to Pastor David Derry, from the Houston area, and Pastor Ryan Michelsm from the DFW Metroplex for a discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of bivocational work. Watch it here: