In Praise Of Bi-Vocational

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    Powered by BloggerThis is an encouraging word to Bi-Vocational Pastors who may not be as fortunate as Chadwick Ivester and Quinn Hooks ,men who are “blessed”with large salaries.Those of us who are Bi-Vo have “lost “our salaries but “kept” our convictions.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

In praise of bivocational pastors

In eternity, when the full story is finally known, the significant work of bivocational preachers will finally be appreciated. Though it is common to think of pastoral ministry primarily or even exclusively in terms of “full time” (or “fully funded”) positions, much faithful service has been rendered to Christ’s Church by men who serve as pastors while also being employed in other vocations. Today it is estimated that 60-65% of Southern Baptist churches are served by bivocational pastors.

In his Lectures on the History of Preaching (50-51), John Broadus quotes a passage from John Chrysostom “in which he bestows generous and exuberant eulogy on the country preachers around Antioch” in the late 4th century. From his Homilies on the Statutes (XIX), Broadus quotes the following:

You might see each of them now yoking oxen to the plow, and cutting a deep furrow in the ground, at another time with their word cleaning out sins from men’s souls. They are not ashamed of work, but ashamed of idleness, knowing that idleness is a teacher of all wickedness. And while the philosophers walk about with conspicuous cloak and staff and beard, these plain men are far truer philosophers, for they teach immortality and judgment to come, and conform all their life to these hopes, being instructed by the divine writings.

Such “good and useful men,” Broadus notes, “have abounded…in every period, country and persuasion in which Christianity was making any real and rapid progress.”

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

John Broadus’ advice on reading

John Broadus offers this excellent advice on the reading habits of ministers (from his Lectures on the History of Preaching, 230-31).

I think that young men should be specially exhorted to read old books. If you have a friend in the ministry who is growing old, urge him to read mainly new books, that he may freshen his mind and keep in sympathy with his surroundings. “But must not young men keep abreast of the age?” Certainly, only the first thing is to get abreast of the age, and in order to this, they must go back to where the age came from, and join there the great procession of its moving thought.

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7 Comments on “In Praise Of Bi-Vocational”

  1. Quinn Hooks Says:

    I have the greatest respect for bi-vo pastors and wish we could get more of them involved in the Convention at all levels.

  2. Quinn,
    We Bi-Vo’s do alright.We just have to remember to take our blood pressure medicine every other day.On those off days we are dizzy but we get by.
    The Convention has ben very fair to me.One year I was asked to be a “Teller.”My wife was so proud she took a picture of me telling.On another ocassion I carried Chadwick Ivester’s lap top while he fellowshiped with big church pastors like you and Hans.

  3. chadwick Says:


    The reason why you CAN afford to be bi-vocational is because of that great big nest egg you have with Guidestone Retirement. 😉

    Is YOUR BIG GUIDESTONE RETIREMENT NEST EGG the underlying reason why you will not side with me & Quinn on the Guidepebbles issue?

    No wonder you want to hold hands with OS . . . and, by the way, you ALSO have a TAN FORM . . . have you been lying in the TANNING BED, also?


  4. Chadwick,
    Those are personal questions.This web sight is not about me.It’s about HIM and others.I just want to be a blessing.

  5. dwight easler Says:

    Our associational pastors are reading a book by Reggie Mcneil called “The Present Future”. According to Reggie all of us will be bi-vocational once the WW2 generation and the institutional loyalist die off. From what I get from his predictions of the course we are taking, our churches will look less like North American churches and more like the house churches of the 3rd world. It’s an interesting and challenging book to consider the idolatry of the North American church culture.

  6. Chadwick and Dwight,
    In light of these revealing facts..make sure your wives are healthy and able to work.Vernon McGee used to say that the church started in the home and will end in the home.Our church already meets in a “phone booth”on Sunday mornings.
    Bill,ambidexterous and Bi-Vocational

  7. dwight easler Says:

    Mcneil’s point will anger those who are absorbed in what he calls “the church culture”. The church culture defines Christianity by what people do at the local church. He says this culture is crumbling because of a lack of relevance in a postmodern world.

    The victory of the church in North America he predicts will be a resurgence of a missional mindset. People who invest not in buildings but in the kingdom and in lost people. His book is stratling to people like me who have grown up defining Christianity according to the North American church culture. I don’t believe I do this on purpose but it is all I have known. Be prepared to throw the book across the room a few times.

    Chadwick, you are right about associations and denominational loyalties. Most people who are my age and younger have no concept of cooperation through giving. They want to do something. That is why disaster relief is so effective in our state.

    My wife wants to have another baby. I told her that she could stay out of work until all of teh kids get in school. By then she will be drawing Social Security anyway.

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