From the first century to today, God has used bivocational leaders to multiply many churches worldwide. The apostle Paul was committed to not be a burden to those among whom he was doing ministry; that commitment led him and his colleagues to be the first “tentmakers.” Ever since, tentmaking—or bivocational ministry—has been powerfully used by God to grow His church.
Serving in a bivocational role is one of a variety of ministry models for starting and shepherding congregations. Yet too often, it has been regarded as less-than-desirable. After all, if someone has committed years to prepare for pastoral ministry, the need to augment finances by working in education or the marketplace might not be that pastor’s preferred option.
Yet, as this issue of EFCA Today illustrates, the Lord of the Church is calling some incredibly gifted leaders to pursue bivocational ministry for far more than financial reasons. Bivocational pastoring and church planting are strategic ways to carry the message of the gospel into the community and to model a gospel-centered way of life to those within the church.