Tag Archives: bi-vocational

Hang onto Your Hats!

Father, this is such a hectic time of year! Of course, it often times is much to our own making. One of the biggest struggles in being a bi-vocational pastor is that I have the combination of two vocations which have the craziest schedules during the Christmas season – pastoral ministry and retail! Extended hours for one and a fuller calendar with the other are challenging, to say the least. Don’t get me wrong I am blessed to have the struggles. Then on top of those to add family (one of the greatest blessings of all!) and the complication of sickness and surgery into the mix and, oh, talk about a simple sleigh ride turned into a luge run – oh, my – hang onto your hats!

Lord, there are only a couple weeks of craziness left. I must admit the whole combination is taking its toll. I am physically and emotionally weary and my heart’s desire is to remain spiritually buoyant. I don’t want the negative elements to suck all the joy out of everything. You coming to this dusty globe some 2000 years ago give us every reason to be joyful. May I never cease, in every aspect of my life, to proclaim

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And Heaven and nature sing!

And may the third verse of this beloved carol come to fruition in a mighty way, as well…

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.

Lord, may Your presence override all the “thorns” in our lives and may Your “blessing flow” that we all may find You, our Savior and Redeemer, for that is why You came. Praise Your holy name! Amen!

Dec. 16th, Fri, 5:29 am

Waiting

Father, I appreciate having Our Daily Bread as a part of my regular routine. They are solid in their teachings. I am grateful for the diversity of the many authors of these short, pithy devotionals. I would ask that You continue to bless their efforts as they touch lives across the globe.

I mention them today because, quite often they make me stop and think and today’s devotional, Marking Time, did just that. The author, David McCasland, used Psalm 25:1-15 to talk about waiting.

Lord, waiting can be a challenge – like waiting for the novocaine to do its thing before getting a filling at the dentist – like certain days at work when time seems to crawl and you just want to go home. For the most part in life waiting is not an option, it’s just something we have to do. But as McCasland points out, “we can decide how we wait.”

I am a bi-vocational pastor- basically, that means I pastor a church (or in my case two churches) but because they are smaller congregations with limited resources I have to work another job for the bulk of my income. Now my heart is all about ministry and nothing would bring me greater joy that to be able to serve full-time in ministry. But… that’s not how God has chosen to use me.

I started working at Kohl’s in 2000 and started pastoring the first of my churches in 2002. So for 14 years I have been bi-vocational. And I have been waiting…and waiting…and waiting – waiting for God to call me to full-time ministry. I just feel I could serve my churches so much more effectively if that were the case.

Sometimes I struggle with the waiting but I cannot escape the fact that in many ways I am a full-time minister. There’s not much spiritual challenge in pulling jewelry out of baggies and displaying them on a fixture but when I walk into work every day I don’t flip a switch and turn the minister part of me off.

As I have shared with many, in essence, Kohl’s is like a third church for me. Now we don’t sing hymns and I don’t preach, as such, but I touch lives every day with the love of God. God has used me over and over again to touch people who might otherwise not really have that opportunity.

I impact them but they impact me, as well. As a bi-vocational pastor, I am able to keep my finger on the pulse of humanity. I have not cocooned myself in the security of the church. I am regularly exposed to the raw reality of life. I strive every day to be the hands and mouth of God to a hurting world. I strive to let my light shine brightly in the darkness. I feel God’s heart for people. It impacts me there but it comes out in the pulpit as well.

I may be waiting – and it may be that my waiting will never end. But it is not wasted time. God is good all the time – my life is in His more than capable hands and He can do as He pleases for He surely knows better than I.

July 19th, Tue, 6:18 am

Pulse of Humanity

I truly need these times together, Father. I would ask that You would burden my heart with the need for consistently doing so. I know You are with me each day but I also realize that daily setting aside some alone time greatly impacts me for that day, as well as, long term. Our time together is crucial for myself and for Your kingdom.

Titus 1:5-9 (<<click here)

Lord, I like that my study Bible* points out that when it comes to leaders in the church that it is more than just skill and knowledge. Paul stresses that character is of utmost importance. “It is important to have leaders who can effectively preach God’s Word; it is even more important to have those who can live out God’s Word and be examples for others to follow.”

Lord, please help me to live out my faith. Help me to not just preach what You lay upon my heart but to truly live it out. You know that I would love to be a full-time pastor but – wisely so – You also know that living my life in the “real” world helps me to keep it real, too. Many important things can be accomplished in my study but real life application is beneficial as well. As I serve bi-vocationally help me to balance the important things. And, Lord, I would also pray for others who proclaim Your Word across this globe. Help them to keep it real. May they have regular opportunity to keep their fingers on the pulse of humanity.

Jan 16th, Sat, 8:35 am

*New Living Translation  Life Application Study Bible