6 Ways to Bless Your Bivocational Pastor
Bivocational church leaders are amazing! They work like everyone else in the world and give leadership to the eternal work God’s mission. They willingly sacrifice so much that the rest of our take for granted. They deserve an enormous amount of respect.
As someone who once served as a bivocational pastor, people often asked something like this: “You have a full-time job, preaching every week, ministering, and keep your family together. You’re so busy. How do you get it all done? “ My standard answer is simple… everyone is busy. I don’t know anyone who is not busy. But in the back of my mind, I know that bivocational pastors carry a weight that only those in the fraternity can really understand.
Bivocational pastors need your encouragement and help. If you attend a church led by a bivocational pastor, you can make a difference. Here are a few ways to bless your bivocational pastor.
1. Check in on your pastor’s personal life. It is not a matter of prying but a matter of friendship. Don’t ask him to pull back the veil on all of his deep, dark secrets. Rather, just be a friend who listens well without having any agenda. Take it even a step further and make it a priority that you and your family will minister to the pastor and his family.
2. Invite him out for some fun. Your pastor is running just to keep up with himself. Help him take a break. When you and your buddies go to a game, see a movie, or just hang out, invite your pastor. Plan a double-date for your spouse and the pastor with his wife.
3. Make it easy to be equipped for ministry by your pastor. Your pastor feels a spiritual weight that can become a temptation to try and “do it all.” Let him know that you want to be the best trained and equipped disciple possible. Make yourself available to learn from him from about both doctrine and practical ministry.
4. Publicly support and privately seek understanding. Pastors are not perfect communicators. Sometimes they stumble in saying exactly what they mean in a business meeting, vision sermon, or some other public forum. Use your private conversations with him to seek to understand his heart. Once you’ve done that, offer your counsel about how the congregation can best understand his message.
5. Know who is in pain in your church. Most of the pains in people’s lives wind up falling at the feet of the pastor. There is an often unreasonable expectation that he can say the right verse and give the right counsel to solve all of life’s ills. We all know it does not work that way. Instead, be aware of those in the church who are in pain and beat your pastor there as often as possible. Be members who are present in people’s lives.
6. Focus on disciple-making instead of preference-keeping. Your pastor wants the same thing that you do: to see as many people as possible come to faith in Christ and grow in that faith. Help the mission of the church by refusing to allow preference-retention as the theme of meetings and ministries. Instead of making your pastor burn up energy and time by fighting through tradition, help him propel the momentum of the church toward Christ’s mission of making disciples.
The work of ministry is an enormous blessing. If your church is blessed with a bivocational pastor, be a blessing to him.
A version of this article first appeared in Deacon Magazine; an excellent ministry tool from LifeWay Christian Resources.