Thinking Differently about “Bi-vocational” Pastors & Ministry

One of the core theological ideas I find extremely helpful for accompanying GOD’s people in their discovery of what it means to live as Christians in the world is Luther’s understanding of vocation. In this blog, Aaron Fuller wrestles with his many roles, or as Luther says stations, and how he lives faithfully into and out of those roles. Check it out and see what you think.

wrestling inspired faith

First off, I’m a big proponent of bi-vocational ministry.  Actually, I like to call it multi-vocational ministry.  For me, my understanding of ministry comes from the notion that none of us as persons are constructed out of a single role, type of work, or thing.  Our identities are shaped and varied by all sorts of forces, vocations, if you will.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about multi/bi-vocational ministry.  And a while back, I came across a conversation about the “issue” of bi-vocational ministry….primarily the theological problems it presents.  If you want to go into it in detail, you can check it out here.  Additionally, there are other perspectives as well, like this and this.  But here’s my take on their conversation:

  • Bi-vocational ministry is narrowly defined as having another job to supplement your pastoral salary (or lack thereof).  Vocation=work you get paid for.
  • The primary theological justification for…

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