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Three unique advantages to bi-vocational ministry

Being a bi-vocational minister can be both trying and rewarding. I know because I served as one for 18 years. The majority of my other vocation was in the retail world. And while that may seem outside of the ministry field, actually it proved to be a great place to practice my calling. I discovered three unique advantages to the situation that I would like to share with you now.

The Breakroom Chapel

Every place I’ve worked has had a break-room; you know that place where you could go for two fifteen minute rest periods and enjoy a short lunch time. Often while camping in those places I would overhear co-workers discussing their heartaches. They would talk of their problems with children, teenagers, spouses, significant others or just everyday life.

Sometimes I would be included in these conversations and it provided me an opportunity to share biblical principles with them. Sometimes we would even pray, or I would share scripture with them. The breakroom would become a sort of chapel for them.   

Help with Mission Mindedness

In the work world I come across people with various backgrounds, different cultures and different belief systems. Some of them have a different world view from mine. This leads to interesting discussions and opens doors of understanding. It helps me see life through their eyes. It aids me in developing ways of beginning spiritual conversations with people from diverse backgrounds. This, of course, can be very helpful when I am on a mission assignment in a different place with a different culture.

Evangelism Experience

When working outside the boundaries of the church world,  you encounter non-church people. They often have different life-situations than the people you spend time with on Sunday. Many of them don’t have a relationship with Jesus. And what I discovered is many of them will not respond to traditional evangelism approaches. They can be resistant when you mention Scripture.  So a non-traditional approach is needed. This causes me to be imaginative and inventive on ways to share the gospel with them. What I learned was to work it into normal conversations. Showing them concern and compassion and being interested in their lives, while investing time in them yielded the most results. But the most effective approach was just living out my faith before them. I want them to see the light of Christ in me. Doing that often resulted in them coming to me and asking questions that allowed spiritual answers.

But the most effective approach was living out my faith before them. I want them to see the light of Chrsit in me. 

These are just three of the unique advantages to bi-vocational ministry. I hope that you find opportunities to expand the kingdom in your other vocation mission field.

Chris Ortego

Chris has been in the ministry since 1989 serving as a youth minister, minister of education, senior adult minister, and pastor.He has also pastored in New York for nine years. Chris currently serves as the President of the Bi-vocational and small church association of Texas and also as Pastor of School Creek Baptist Church in Lampasas, Texas. He has a M.A. in Christian Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Chris has been married to his wife Brenda for 31 years.