Recently I wrote a blog on bi-vocational ministry that was picked up by ethicsdaily.com. I received several responses including one from a friend in another state who gave me permission to share his own experience. We agreed that I would delete specifics to assure anonymity.
A couple of years ago [my wife] lost her job suddenly when our local hospital closed, taking away more than half of our household income and our insurance. Long story short, she is now working and drawing early retirement and we are doing just fine. But in the meantime, I got a job as a part-time driver for a motor coach operator, having operated heavy equipment as a teen with my grandfather and driven thousands of miles in a church bus…as most of us have.
Out of the blue about two years ago, a voice just told me to call [name of company] and ask about part-time employment. I don’t always know what to call “the voice of God,” but it was providential without a doubt.
My combined salary and expenditures at [name of church] is [specific amount] and has been for 8 years. I have turned down raise offers until we had our building debt paid off. And, given our church budget, I still make well above average for our size. Not complaining.
At any rate, the job with [name of company] has not only supplemented our income, but I have thoroughly enjoyed working in the “real world” (as both our grandfathers would have put it). I did have to come to terms in my own mind about the truth of my now bivocational status, but it really was a short trip and, frankly, I wouldn’t go back if the church offered to meet the combined salaries of both jobs.
I wish I had discovered earlier the freedom, security and balance that my bi-vocational status gives me. And, I feel good…and our church leaders feel good…that my financial needs are met without overburdening our church budget.
I want no praise for my story but I told in detail so you can share anonymously with others who might seek your advice/encouragement on these matters.
To them I would say…and saluting OUR mutual past….”Come on in boys and girls! The water’s FINE!”
Of course, bi-vocationality is not for everyone, but this is a helpful testimony about one person's experience. My friend offered to have a personal conversation with anyone considering the bi-vocational option. If you are interested, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will make the connection.