The Gas Pump Pastor – Jack of All Trades – Bivocational Ministers

gas pump pastorThe following is a real dialog between two believers on a Facebook page yesterday. Their conversation centered on a working man that pastored a local church. I came in after the fact, but I was intrigued by the conversation to say the least. I left out their names to be cordial, but I wanted some feedback from my readers. I will comment at the end and will ask you to do the same.

FB#1 – Wavaho service station on Hwy 31 been taken over by new owners…it is truly a SERVICE station now and they Pump your gas! The best part is the owner is a wonderful, humble CHRISTian man, who is also a pastor here in town. I wanted to ask you to please patronize their business . . . thank you so much He is really a nice guy.

FB#2 – If this guy is pumping gas all day he has no time to be in the Word in order to Pastor the flock which Christ gave him…divided loyalties…read 2 Tim 2 :2-6

FB#1 – He actually has guys working for him who pumped but he did too…Paul was a tentmaker…lots of people are called to be vocational . . . Come and buy some gas from him, you will be blessed!

FB#2 – No question about being blessed, that is not the issue . . . the issue is 2 Tim 2:2-6 and Paul was a tentmaker and traveled as an evangelist – not a pastor growing his flock. I doubt if MacArthur would be able to teach us or be as grounded in the Word if he were running a business and pumping gas. If his calling is as a Pastor then that is what he should do. If his calling is as an evangelist in a gas station as an outreach then he should do that, but being a “jack of all trades’ really means you are a master of nothing. Seems like he needs to go before the Lord and figure out which way he is being called.

FB#1 – I trust GOD has given this man at the service station who is busy serving HIM the grace to pastor his flock.

FB#2 – We are all called to be evangelists, aka missionaries. But there are those who are specifically “called” to be Pastors or Elders or deacons, and just tossing aside the Word of God to pat a brother on the back for pumping gas and also witnessing is not justifiable – what does the scripture say? Clearly there are Pastors and Elders and missionaries who function as such . . . all I am saying is that this guy needs to figure out which he is. As a Pastor can he visit the sick, study the Word, teach his Elders, pray with his leaders, run Wednesday prayer meetings  (if they have them) AND care for his wife, children, etc. all while effectively running a business in which yet more people are counting on him to be just as committed? If so I would like to see that and the verses he has built this doctrine on.

FB#1 – Love you sis, we will just have to agree to disagree dear sis! Thanks for sharing your convictions!

FB#2 – Thanks, but these are NOT my convictions…this IS what the Word of God says . . . It stands or falls on that. If anyone really loves this guy they should drive on over, buy some gas and share some real truth with him – i.e. James 1 and Eph. 4

After reading their back and forth I then commented.

Darrell Creswell  – My father pastored some very small churches when I was growing up and had to work full time as the church was not large enough to support our family, as he was a church planter starting over 15 churches. I commend men of God who shepherd small flocks and pay for the privilege of doing so with their own labor outside of the ministry. It takes quite a man to work a full time job and build a church. All churches start out small and there has to be someone who will humbly take it upon themselves to undertake that huge task of serving, as no church when starting out has the finances to support a full time pastor.

I say God bless this man who is pumping gas and pastoring this small church in Alabama. Currently in the United States approximately 30% of all churches have a pastor working a full time job as the churches cannot financially support him. They are called bivocational ministers. My father was one of those men. He ministered in out-of-the-way places, far from the spotlight. In addition to working a full time job, he preached Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. He was the janitor, cleaned the toilets, vacuumed and scrubbed the floors, cleaned the church and mowed the lawn. He pastored and planted churches, took mission trips every year, physically and financially helping to build 10 churches in Mexico and 5 here in the USA. He did all this by working 40-60 hours a week in addition to being a pastor. I guess you could say my dad was a “jack of all trades” – the Kingdom of God needs more of them. Without them, many small churches would close.

I am not aware of the Biblical foundation from the scriptures that FB#2 was quoting about bivocational ministers, but I am open to anyone that would care to enlighten my thinking. Let me know your thoughts.

Categories: Body of Christ, Christ, Christianity, Finances, Giving, God, Ministry, Preacher, Service

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82 replies

  1. Most duties assumed by today’s pastors come more through tradition than via the Word, especially here in America. But I also know it’s tough to change some people’s minds, as in hardly ever never.

  2. I have to admit I am honestly shocked at the legalism of this person! We simply can NOT pull 1 Scripture out of the Bible and beat someone over the head with it. Darrell I applaud your comment. I know several pastors that have full time jobs in addition to pastoring and they work just as hard to do both, because His grace is sufficient for us and He supplies ALL our needs! Thank you for sharing you encouraged me and where I am in my ministry right now too.

    • Thanks Tamar, The calling of God is without repentance and He appoints those where they are needed. I liked your bagel with a heart in it 🙂 Thanks for sharing. I will remember you in my prayers – In Christ Darrell

  3. I couldn’t agree more with you Darrell. As a ministry who works with small churches, struggling churches in rural communities with great need – I found myself getting a bit worked up when reading the fb conversation. Most of the pastors we work with NEED to work outside of the churches they so graciously serve. They labor extra hard just for the honor and privilege of serving a body of believers in need of a pastor. My husband works outside of our ministry which helps these pastors in order to support our family so that we can work with churches who can’t afford help. May God continue to bless these humble servants.

  4. This post hit to close to home to ignore. I have a fulltime job, attend fulltime school and just finished a 102 page thesis to complete my degree. This along with a family and a myriad of other stresses in life. This gentlemen has no idea what he’s taking about. He completely precludes the idea that God will enable and gift those He has placed in strategic areas to spread his word. Like Satan on the roof of the Temple, this man misuses Scripture to win an argument, not spread a truth.

    It is extraordinary that FB#2 would not mention 2 Corinthians in his diatribe. Paul was indeed bi-vocational. I often hear Matthew 6:33 misquoted and used in these situations also to justify the fact that if God wanted you in the ministry he would most certainly provide for you there. FB#2 also does not mention much of Titus where the demands of a πρεσβύτερος/presbuteros, ἐπίσκοπος/episkopos are mentioned. The pastor by his calling or office is an elder or πρεσβύτερος/presbuteros. Last I checked its qualifications didn’t require they be solely ποιμαίνω poimaino or pastors.

    This is another trick the Devil uses to not only confuse the non-believer but also the faithful. It is also interesting that this person would not mention the fact that elders are permitted to marry and to have a family from other comments in the Timothy passage. This shows that pastors, elders (leaders, teachers in the church) are allowed to lead, teach and essentially have families…yet Paul argues that if one can stay single it is better because they can divest more of their time to the ministry and call to preach the Gospel. Will a married man be as effective as single person could be in ministry? Paul thinks not because of the divided loyalty. Does it logically follow that a married man should not preach the Gospel at all? No! Using this same logic we can say the same about vocation. Can a pastor and teacher solely devoted to his call be more effective in doing is calling? Yes. Should a man that is not fortunate enough to be paid enough to support his family in ministry stop preaching totally because he needs to support his family? NO! This is a logical fallacy of affirming the consequent. It goes something like this

    (1) All Pastors who preach the word should only preach the word and do pastoral things
    (2) Bi-vocational pastors do not just preach the word and do pastor things
    (3) Bi-vocational pastors therefore cannot be true or real pastors

    First he assumes that pastors can only to pastoral things. Wrong
    Second, he uses flawed logic to arrive at the fact. There are quite a few fallacies in his statements that warrant mentioning also like, fallacy of composition, appeal to authority (even thou he used it wrong) and others I could prove if pressed.

    The person stating these facts is doing nothing but being contentious and purposely divisive. It appears he is more impressed with showing everyone how smart he is rather than seeing principles behind the Scripture.

    The great thing about being bi-vocational is as Paul showed in 2 Corinthians. You do not become indebted to the very one’s you preach too. You will not have to compromise the Gospel when the biggest tither becomes neo-orthodox or a Prosperity Gospel adherent. I’ve seen it happen to some of the best. They start with the right intentions but as people with big wallet start attending the church and tithing large amounts of money, the pastor ends up whoring himself to a false gospel. Bi-vocationals almost never fall victim to this temptation. Can they be distracted from the call? It’s possible…but improbable. If they are truly called of the Lord and the Spirit indwells them…they know what their calling is and will not apostatize.

    • It’s one thing to be in the pulpit and be pulled from it because of unbiblical distractions…it is another to silence a person in their ministry because the do not fit the role one man deems proper for the role of the pastor. Truth is…believers are all to be ministers of the word to a greater or lesser extent…but to limit a man’s Gospel vocation because he does meet the guidelines of misinterpreted Scripture is demonic. Let a pastor be pastor, and let a pastor at the pump be a pastor at the pump…The Gospel is not limited by walls and geography.

      • God and God alone appoints those that He wishes to proclaim the Blood of Christ that penetrates every seam of humanity through the calling to be a pastor. I have a friend that left a six figure income that required world travel, to take a 30K per year job working in a pharmacy in order to pastor a small church in a rural town. He tells me that it is the most fulfilling thing he has ever done in his life. Man how I admire him- I admire all those who strive to do God’s will as they are called in whatever way the Lord leads. After all it is His(the Lord’s) calling- Thanks Darrell

    • Wow, Andy, wow, wow, wow – I was hoping that you would stop by and comment. I have read almost everything that you have written and as such I knew that you would have some dissertation that would knock my socks off. Hats off to the Souljournaler for such a powerful and informative post. I am most thankful. Preach it my brother 🙂 Blessings Darrell

      • Love this line- Like Satan on the roof of the Temple, this man misuses Scripture to win an argument, not spread a truth. 🙂

      • I just read your post and reread mine. Thanks brother…I do whatever I can to hold up my brethren and the respect they give to their fathers and mothers (Eph 6:1-4). I just realized I sounded like a know-it-all too…lol..anything I have I credit to Him the dwells within me, it couldn’t be from me as I am just a hack and sinner saved by grace. Keep up the great work. Keep writing.

      • You don’t sound like a know it all, but words spoken in sincerity and authority. Appreciate it, the kingdom needs more hacks 🙂 Blessings Darrell

    • Is it just my pc or did some funky writing come through when Andy mentioned Titus scripture. I am still a baby christian, so trying to take in as much as I can and learn from you veterans.

      I do not know much, but I do think that God would expect all of his people to do what they can to spread the Good News no matter how it is done. I would think God would find it admirable that a man was willing to do both “jobs” An how about the gentleman’s children? What a fine example of work ethic and compassion.

      • Thanks for stopping by Julie, There is nothing wrong with your computer, Andy is using the Greek words, for Presbyter, Bishop, and Shepherd in that order. He is taking back to the original text words in order to show that there were no prerequisites set forth in the scriptures regarding pastors and working. I agree with you and think that God respects those that are willing to sacrifice to feed His sheep. I know that now I have a great respect for what my father did, however at the time it was kind of tough. Much of my thinking regarding service for the gospel sake has been molded by his service to the Lord as now I fully understand what it meant to him, and why he did what he did. You make a fine point with compassion. The word tells us in Jude 1:22 there of some of you having compassion therefor making a difference. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and share. Blessings in Christ -Darrell

  5. Though I am not as well versed as many who have previously commented, I can only say that the discernment the Lord placed on my heart while reading their exchanges is that FB#2’s opinions is as those of the pharisees. Legalistic and un-loving. There is no compassion shown for the pastor….Satan knows how to use the Word of our Lord as well (though twisted). In agreement with you Darrell. Bless you.

    • You are so right Carol, I have great admiration for those like him who give way beyond the call to serve at the expense of their time and pocketbook to shepherd a flock. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing. My heart is sad for those that find it easier to judge rather than love – Blessings Darrell

  6. I fully agree with your words: “I admire all those who strive to do God’s will as they are called in whatever way the Lord leads. After all it is His(the Lord’s) calling.”

    Tough times are here, in America churches are filing bankruptcies, members are leaving the church when constantly pressured to “give more”; those who remain are losing jobs or struggling to get by with their employers cutting back on their hours and health benefits SO they give less in offerings or stop giving, etc. Pastors who expect good salaries and benefits are not in demand. I see churches closing down and the faithful meeting in homes in these last days of great church apostasy. Those with a true calling to shepherd will continue to do so and work if necessary. It is a humble man who would pump gas and serve God and God’s sheep.

    God bless you for a thought-provoking post! (BTW have you read my Jan. 30 post on Church woes?)

    • I have now – good stuff – left comment – These are the times that will separate the dedicated from the predicated – You know like ministry predicated on salary, benefits, housing allowance, perks – The dedicated doesn’t care about all that, just seeks God’s will – I like the pics you used good stuff 🙂 Makes me happy – Makes me smile- Blessings Darrell

  7. My mother taught my family about the call to service in the church. In the 1960s a Bible school was graduating several students and sending them out as pioneer pastors. These had some home church support but less than sufficient for frugal standard of living at their pioneer locations. My mother impressed a group of us that if could not go we must support those who did. We were taught to stinge and save and support several of these in order for them to “grow” churches they had been assigned to. However a few came from non- Christian homes with elderly parents who needed their financial support. to be good Christian witnesses of fillial piety I know that these did not use the support we gave to support their parents. They worked to support their parents in their own time and gave the Lord 100% of their working time. Thank God for these self sacrificing servants, for The Lord has blessed them and their children.
    If we think there should be full-time ministers we have to support them financially. They and their families are humans, having basic human needs.

    In these tough and disloyal times of church hopping, we should be praying “its me O Lord standing in the need of prayer” rather than putting down someone who is bi- vocational who is honestly fulfilling two ministries and praying “send me Lord, help me take care of my own as well as spiritual family”, and not waiting for others. They may wait till too late as time runs out if they wait.

    I agree totally with you Darrell, I am so thankful there are some who would put feet to their words for talk is easy. Thank God for those who will stand in the gap unselfishly. We should walk a mile in their shoes if we are not yet supporting them. How wrong we are sometimes to stick to our prejudices and biases and not recognize the signs of the time. We must be creative but not to cheat and defraud the Name and Church of Jesus Christ worldwide. We must give support to His servants.

    Posting this blog on ChristinBlessings on March 4, 2013. Thank you for sharing and blessing, Darrell.
    Blessings to you and family

    • Beautiful Evelyn, simply beautiful. Our Lord taught by example the heart of a servant and we are to be Christlike which includes servitude. You say – I am so thankful there are some who would put feet to their words for talk is easy. That sums it up. Thanks so much – Blessings Darrell

  8. Thank you Darrell for highlighting a very important issue that today can be misunderstood by some because of those who seek dishonestly earthly riches and rewards and so seeking to prevent this they wrongly include those who have genuine needs. The Scriptures tell us that it is our motivation for what we do that is important and this will be shown by our own fruit, we are not to store up treasures for ourselves on earth but for Eternity or Love money and what it can buy but we are to provide for the needs of those in our care, our families, for the poor and for or those who can’t work such as the elderly and sick … In Ministry, God’s work done in God’s way never lacks His supply and that may mean He provides work for us pumping gas or making Tents, for me it’s cooking and He also provides the time and energy and for all these we give thanks.

    Acts 20: 33 – 36 I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne.

    • Very well said Anne, The Lord does provide in many different ways and gives to each as He sees fit. Many in the body seem to forget those glorious words “more blessed to give than to receive” as we live in a receiving society with a sense of entitlement that has spilled over into the church. I am sure that Ron appreciates having a good cook in his life, as food is one of our greatest pleasures. :)Thanks for sharing. Blessings in Christ Darrell

      • Ron is also a good cook Darrell and blesses me with a wonderful meal when he is able as he is often away. Apart from my daily cooking, I’m known as the Christmas cook, I give gifts of my cooking to people all year and this gives me great pleasure. I also cook for income for my Ministry expences with Freedom in Christ Jesus, this Ministry covers a few differant outreaches, when I have time I make animal Scripture cards for Children but I’m not as gifted as you Darrell, your Scripture cards are very good.

        Take Care – Christian Love from us both -Anne.

      • Extending hospitality by cooking to friends and others is a divine example given to us by our Lord –
        John 21:13 – Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.. I am sure that your ministry is a blessing to the hearts of many as you follow in our Savior’s footsteps. Thanks for the kind words. Blessings to you and Ron, In Christ Darrell

  9. Just wanted to say that I have been blessed beyond belief to have been called as a tent minister, or bi-vocational pastor. I live in a very small town and I am a freelance computer programmer. I also volunteer as the pastor of our church. Yes, it is a stretch sometimes. But like so many other things that stretch us, it is a real blessing. You all have said such wonderful, powerful things already, but I would just add that for me, the Word is alive and I see Him working in me as I not only ponder, pray and seek Him, but as I then go out and walk in what I am learning. And then to go and share that with my congregation is a winning combination, because they can identify with my struggles and my victories as I am letting the Spirit guide me and teach me and grow me through work, parenting, pastoring, praising, loving and just plain living.

    And although I don’t ever point this out in church, people realize that they cannot make excuses like “Well, he’s a pastor, he can take care of that. It’s his job. I don’t have time to participate. I have a real job.” The amazing thing is that I find that I really do have all sorts of time to do what I need to do. I think if our church was larger, this would be way more difficult. But then, they could afford to pay the pastor, so it wouldn’t be an issue. God sure knows what He is doing. He really cares about people in all sorts of cities and churches and situations. I love You Lord! Thanks for loving us. And thanks for people like Darrell for having such an awesome heart to share such great insights with Your people!

    • I admire men like you Phil, they are the backbone of the Body of Christ. I pray God’s riches blessings on you and your church.Heaven embraces those who would pastor for free because they love the church. Stay the course and thanks for the service to the kingdom. May God richly bless your ministry.Darrell

    • Thanks Darrel!

      And for what is it worth, there is an interesting irony in FB#2’s use of Benjamin Franklin’s quote. He actual talked about being a “Jack of all trades and a master of one.” Somewhere along the line, people started mis-quoting it and saying “master of none”. Oh, what a difference one character can make. 🙂

  10. Darrell,
    Someone in the conversation just doesn’t understand how God can use you in any given situation or circumstance. I pastored a country church of 25 to 30 people on any given Sunday. Most were poor and unable to contribute to the budget. I never took one dime from them; we used what I would have been paid to keep the building maintained and to help out those in need.
    I never felt I was being taken advantage of and always believed I was being blessed by God for the priviledge of sharing the Gospel.
    I was not a lay pastor, as if some would think lay pastors don’t qualify to be counted; I earned a masters in theology and was grateful for the experiance.
    My experiance as pastor came after I retired from my ocupation. It was then I went to seminary and afterwards pastored the church.
    I take exception to the idea that a bivocational pastor has no time to pastor. All pastors are required to prioritize there time just like everyone else. Pastoring does not exempt you from living in the world. I found myself pastoring in almost every situation God put me in; when I was at church, at play, in a resturant, or where ever, it didn’t make a difference.
    As I look back over my life I now wonder why I wasn’t lay pastoring before I went to seminary. It was as if I wasn’t qualified before then. How dumb and irresponsible I was not to take advantage of every circumstance God put me into.
    We are all ministers of sort and should be using the gifts we have to pastor/minister where ever we are, what ever we are doing; even pumping gas.

  11. Thank you for this. It needed to be highlighted and your response was given with grace.
    God bless you and may the Lord continue to richly bless and use you!

  12. Hey Darrell, thank you so much for sharing about your precious Daddy! Wow…what an example and what a pastor who laid down his life for the sheep being a servant in every since of the WORD.
    I went to the Wavaho station this morning and shared your blog with David. I just had it on my i phone so he read the first part and it moved him so much he said he had to wait to get home to read the rest of it. He told me he didn’t take any money for doing special things at other churches cause he didn’t feel right about doing that. He was so touched by your blog…he wanted me to take anything i wanted in the store:). I took some water to make him happy. You really blessed us both by sharing your testimony of your Daddy and encouraging this pastor and i pray many, many more who are faithful teaching the WORD and shepherding a flock while working in another job too to help pay the bills. While i was talking to him, a man came in and started talking about how tired he was because his wife was in the hospital….he just needed to talk a little. I thought what a perfect setting for this pastor to minister to hurting folks as they come through the door of his “SERVICE” station…a “LIFESAVING” station for the LORD JESUS CHRIST to minister HIS love and grace for all who enter that little door. GOD bless you and thank you again so much for sharing!

    • Thanks so much Mitzi for letting me be a small part of this blessing. This touches my heart greatly. I commend you in that you are helping this man by inviting others to be a patron at his “service” station. I pray that God will continue to use you to be a blessing to all that you come in contact with in a might way- In Christ Darrell

  13. Thanks for your kinds words to me…i really appreciate them! My husband pastored a small church when he was first out of seminary, and if his parents hadn’t helped us out, we wouldn’t have been able to stay as long as we did without him taking another job. Later on, my husband pastored a church for a year and a half while working in our family restaurant business and it was very difficult for him to do both. I admire and thank GOD for the bivocational pastors and their families that pour out their lives for our LORD JESUS to preach the WORD, care for the flock, and win the lost to CHRIST. It is a FULLtime calling!

    • Indeed it is, I admire all those that are faithful to the call and accept without question standing ready and willing to do what it takes to be the shepherd the Lord has called them to be, even if they have to get a job outside the ministry to fulfill their calling. There are many in great positions of ministry that seem to have forgotten that, as my father used to say ” many are called and a few are frozen” 🙂 Blessings Darrell

  14. FB#2 seems to me to be making a lot of assumptions based on very little information. How does she know that this pastor / gas station owner doesn’t spend time in the Word and in prayer, seeking God’s wisdom in guidance in all he does? There are a few verses this know-it-all ought to consider, including this verse from one of the chapters she quoted: “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.” James 1:26. Thanks for sharing. Peace, Linda

    • Wow Linda – I love it, shooting straight from the hip – 🙂 I also enjoyed your short poem Red at your blog, very nice.Thanks for the power scripture that pierces to the bone, well quoted. Peace to you my dear sister,In Christ- Darrell

  15. It sounds like #2 is pretty rigid in their beliefs. Not always bad. But not good either. God will not be put in a box and we shouldn’t try to put Him there. Each man should do what God leads him to do. I’ve known great bi-vocational pastors and those that were full-time. All great men of God and serving as they are called. Does it really matter?

    • Hi Ann, There are times to be rigid in our beliefs, the Lord grants us the wisdom for that discernment (hopefully :)) You are right, it does not matter, only to a few confused souls, but they need compassion too. The best scenario is that God sends a bi-vocational pastor to be His instrument to do so! Thanks for stopping by, Blessings Darrell

  16. I am coming to the party late, but you are right on target Darell. Amen – Giving your self to the word and prayer does not preclude providing for your family.

    Most of my thoughts are already in the comments above, but thanks for bringing this out

    Blessings- Ben

  17. “At that time two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left” (Matthew 24:40).
    The one taken was fulfilling his human responsibilities, not doing what our religious concept assumes he should be doing (reading the Bible). We have to be Christ-men living Christ.

  18. Wow, after reading your post and all the comments, I cannot help but feel loved and supported. My husband and I pastor such a church that at the moment is supporting us with me working outside the home. My husband has been bivocational for most of our ministry life, and is prepared to do so again should the need be there. I consider it a privilege to serve in the Kingdom. We do not trust in horses or chariots, but in the provision the Lord supplies, however He supplies it. Even if it comes in the form of being bivocational. Thanks for sharing!

    • You have my respect and my thanks, all in the name of Jesus. The kingdom is blessed by those such as you and your husband that put Christ and the gospel first, before yourself. I am honored that you would stop by and share. My prayers are with you and your husband as you shepherd and feed the the flock. May God richly bless you – In Christ -Darrell

  19. I got the feeling that #2’s frustration was more at #1 than the gas pump pastor. I haven’t read through all the comments here, but I also get the feeling everyone supports #1’s views?

    Here’s the thing.

    Neither of the Facebook commentators know what God has called Rev Pump to do, nor is it clear the size of his church. I think #2 goes wrong in being so hard on Rev Pump. But I also think #2 has a point. A worker is worth his wages. If the church can support a full-time pastor, they owe it to their pastor to pay him his due. He shouldn’t have to be bi-vocational if the church can support him. The church is being unfair to the pastor AND themselves if they can pay him and refuse to. Cause let’s be honest, all things being equal, someone who can be fully devoted to pastoring makes a better pastor than someone who has to work a 2nd job.

    God bless bi-vocational pastors! My grandfather was a multi-vocational pastor. My brother is a multi-vocational minister. I’m all for encouraging pastors and/or church planters who have jobs outside the church.

    That said, a church that can support a full-time pastor should have one. And if they can support additional ministers full-time, they should. As in, pay the people! #2 is right that Paul continued tent-making for a particular purpose: he didn’t want to burden the churches nor was he their primary pastor. Paul was very clear that he had every right to their support, he just didn’t ask. And the reason deacons came about was so the apostles could devote themselves to the Word. So #2 has a valid doctrinal point which can be supported by several scriptures.

    Who knows, though, what the exact particulars are. Maybe the church owns the gas station and the pastor is just there on occasion as part of his full-time duties. Maybe the pastor has enough independent wealth to by the gas station and try to help out his community beyond his church members. Maybe it’s actually his wife who owns the gas station. Right? Who knows?

    But if the church is short-changing Rev Pump, or if he bought the gas station just purely out of business interests – ie, not to help anyone, not moved by God – I think it’s not hard to see the beginnings of a problem. Yes, lots of preachers/ministers/evangelists are called to be vocational in addition to their ministries. But there’re also lots who are called to full-time ministry but are just too scared to take the leap of faith. Who’s to say where Rev Pump falls in the continuum but Rev Pump himself? In addition to her frustration with the situation or with #1, yes #2 seems judgmental. But she’s right in that churches who can afford full-time pastors should appropriately pay their pastors; and wo/men called to full-time ministry should do full-time ministry. So judgment aside, I agree with #2.

    • I appreciate the comment K Evans, thanks for stopping by. I did not think that there would be so much interest on the subject. I do agree if the church can pay the pastor they should. I know the Lord will provide by what ever means He sees fit for the pastor. Blessings in Christ Darrell

  20. One scripture that has come to my mind is we are the living sacrifice…. and apostle paul also said that our life is no longer ours but Christ’s so therefore everything we do to build God’s kingdom it will cost us something e.g time,money,energy ….but our God is faithful…….who will reward those who diligently seek him and bring glory to his name… blessed

  21. I know I’m a little behind on this one but I wanted to say “amen” to your thoughts, Darrell. Our Pastor also works full time managing our community food bank. He was pastoring full time until (like your Dad) our congregation couldn’t support him 100%. The food bank job has been a blessing to our whole church, which is pretty involved in serving there. We have also been able to bring some folks into our church through the food bank & help them grow in Christ as a result of our Pastor being there. We need to trust God instead of making rules about how He can manifest His grace!

  22. I loved your response to this post I so agree with what you said about your father, I am apart of a small ministry where we was, going strong until so many families, moved their membership. My pastor has found him self in a very uncomfortable place in ministry, being torn with trying to find away to be able to reopen outdoors of the church. A Pastor that will take on the job of taking care Gods business and work to finance the vision of the church. If the word of The Lord said If a man don’t work he won’t eat, wisdom says work to be able to see Gods vision for filled.

  23. I’m on your side, Darrell. No one (paid or not) can effectively minister to others if he/she isn’t living in the real world and interacting with others in his/her element (whether “working” or otherwise).
    Thanks for visiting my blogsite!

  24. wow, I don’t really think that gentleman has actually read much of the Bible. Maybe we should gently nudge him towards reading chapters instead of lines, and get him a class on parables. lol Loved your return comment tho, well said. I think most people totally missed the part about how he was clearly judging the man, based on an article….which to me is one of “Christians” biggest mistakes in our world today. Who gave us the right to judge? No one! It is always God’s Right, for God is Righteous! and as Christians, we do MUCH DAMAGE not only to others, but to OURSELVES when we judge!! take care and God Bless!

  25. What a great post. I’ve been a tentmaker for about 12 years now. Tough sometimes, but I would never want to be hostage to a salary or position of title. I prefer being awakened almost daily at two or three a.m. to sit an hour or two with my Father before returning to bed, then off to work.

    Bless you and your dad for the example set of simply following Messiah! Thanks for this post. I am personally encouraged.


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