Dear Bivocational Pastor,
In no way am I trying to make light of your situation. As I’ve walked down your road in your shoes for the last year, I realize that I have not given you the recognition you deserve. You are making a significant contribution to the Kingdom of God through your service. Many churches would not have a person to serve as their pastor if you gave up on what you’re doing.
“You are making a significant contribution to the Kingdom of God through your service.”
Bro., I’m sorry for fostering an incorrect view of bivocational ministry. My incorrect view of bivocational ministry stemmed from my misunderstanding of “being called to the ministry.” About two years ago, God changed my direction in ministry from pastoring to teaching at a local college. I know God has called me to teach. God also called me to serve as an interim pastor of a local church. I realize now that my faulty views concerning the “call” and bivocational ministry led to a faulty view of your work. I’m sorry.
Bro., I’m sorry for your workload and time restraints. I’m only an interim at a church and I feel the intense pressure of giving 100 percent to my teaching job and giving 100 percent to the local church. I teach multiple times during the week at the college, and then add on that Wednesday night, Sunday morning, and Sunday night services. My prep time for Sunday sermons happens at off times during the week and on Saturday. I preach the sermons on Sunday and then start all over again. I’m just an interim with a Monday through Friday job with consistent hours. I cannot imagine what some of you are doing in juggling swing shifts at a hospital or a manufacturing facility along with your pastoral duties. I’m sorry.
“You’re trying to balance being a good husband, a good father, and a good pastor, so no one is neglected. . . . I see what you’re doing; I’m thankful for you.”
Bro., I’m sorry for the thanklessness of ministry. I hope everyone who reads this will agree that it’s easier to critique than to praise in ministry; that stands true from the pulpit to the pew. Pastors and church members find complaining easier than praising. Many days and nights have gone into serving your family and church well. You’re trying to balance being a good husband, a good father, and a good pastor, so no one is neglected. Much of your work is done tirelessly and thanklessly. I know that every church is not like what I described, the church I’m serving now is overflowing with encouragement and thankfulness. We serve God, the Kingdom of God, our family, and the church for God’s honor and glory not for the praise of men, but it’s nice to be thanked occasionally. I see what you’re doing; I’m thankful for you.
Bro., I’m sorry. Please forgive me and others who have neglected your work for too long.
Thomas Magers II
P.S. The same is true for every minister who serves as a bivocational minister. The bivocational youth pastor, children’s pastor, and worship pastor experience the same things.