Becoming Bivocational

Be careful who your heroes are – you’ll probably end up like them.

For me, I have always admired bivocational pastors. I think it takes a tons of guts, a loads of dedication and a bit of insanity to work full-time and still be on a Church staff. These guys have the tenaciousness and fearlessness that makes them my heroes and very soon I will be one of them.

My Church Makes Me Proud

Last night my church’s Administrative Counsel passed the most recent wave of budget cuts. This time dramatic cuts were made to staffing costs and on Nov. 1st my position as Worship Arts Pastor becomes a volunteer role.

I’m am wildly proud of my Admin Counsel and those who specifically serve on the Staff Parish Relations Team (Human Resources Committee). The fact is that this decision was the right thing to do. This is a giant step forward for our church. It was an extremely difficult decision to make. It took boat loads of character, integrity and courage for those who stepped up to make it.

Why This is a Step Forward

According to Steve Stoope the money you spend on staff should be 50% of the money you have coming in. This include salaries, insurance, benefits, ect… all your staffing costs should be 50% of what you bring in. We are a church that averages 100 adults in worship on Sunday and we have 5 full time staff members. Our previous staffing costs were more than 50%. In a time of financial crisis we were spending above our means. Because of leaders with integrity who made difficult decisions we are now living with honest staffing costs.

It’s not the end of the battle – we still have a long way to go before we beat this crisis, but this is a huge win on the battle front. As the church grows and finances increase we’ll go back to having a full-time worship pastor.

You Can Help Me Find a Job

In the meantime I’m in the market for a secular job so I can pay my bills and still lead worship on Sunday. I’ve already had a few opportunities come my way even before this news went public – God is good and He is taking care of me. If you’d like to help me out – I’m looking for a job in Huntsville and I’m not scared of hard work. An 8-5 would work best leaving my nights and weekends for family and Chase Valley. A bonus would be some type of job where I get to contribute to Huntsville – where my job would show my love for my city. Shoot me an email if you have any ideas.

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17 Responses to “Becoming Bivocational”


  1. 1 Wisdom Moon September 17, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    I am shocked to hear that your church has had that many full-time staff members while averaging 100 adults. Sounds like they are definitely making the right move. I hope that you will find a job soon. I know what it feels like to look for a job.

    I am currently working a secular job, which I found through a great temp agency. If you’re good with office work, check out Office Team. It’s a great temp agency. They might have an office in your area.

    Just continue to seek God’s face and I am confident that He will provide the perfect job for you.

  2. 2 Tyler September 17, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Sorry to hear about this Billy. I have ZERO connections down there, but I will definitely be praying for you during this time of transition.

  3. 3 alex mclean September 17, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    billy we’re praying for you and your family…

  4. 4 Trey McClain September 17, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    Would love to be able to help out, but unfortunately I do not have many contacts in the Huntsville area. However, I can say that serving bivocationally can be a huge bonus. Good luck my friend.

  5. 5 Mike September 17, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Absolutely the right move for your church, Billy. Our churches are about the same size, and we have exactly one full time employee – the senior pastor. One part time secretary. All of us other pastors and the other leaders are volunteers.

    I can tell you from experience it’s going to be a challenge. The hardest part for me is knowing that my job is not my vocation – what I long for is to be in full-time ministry. But I’m called to be where I am (God has made that plain) and the church won’t support it… so there it is.

    Good for you for seeing it like it is, and being willing to do what needs to be done to keep the kingdom going. If you need help, advice or just to kvetch, I’m an email, IM or call away….

  6. 6 Larry Megason September 17, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    My Twitter friend…”be warm and be fed” is not enough during times like this. We are facing the very same difficult decisions. You know this…He will not forsake you. Thank you for your spirit of cooperation, especially with our Father Who will honor your love for your city!

  7. 8 Bobby Gilles September 17, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    Wow is right. My figurative hat is off to you and the other leaders for demonstrating such servant leadership. I’m praying for this situation.

  8. 9 janowen September 17, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Billy, I’m praying for you and I’ll let you know if I hear of any openings. What kind of background do you have? What kind of work are you interested in?

    Kudos to you for having such a grand attitude about this. I served for many years in that way although I did not have a “secular” job as well I did take care of three kids! I do really admire you friend. Let me know if you need anything, I’m only 30 minutes away!

  9. 10 Vince September 17, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    Praying for you. I have found myself in the same boat in the last 6 weeks.

  10. 11 Christopher September 17, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Billy,

    it takes a lot of grace to do what you’re doing.

    Our Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills, I pray he takes care of your needs

  11. 12 worshipcity September 17, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    Billy I’m just so inspired by your mature and respectful attitude! Alot of people could take this the wrong way. I applaud you man. I pray God shows you the door He’s already lined up for you in the secular realm quickly for you and your family!

  12. 13 Jeremy Killian September 18, 2008 at 7:09 am

    I was a bi-vocational worship leader for years at Milestone. I hated it. While I loved the ministry, and I loved a lot about my “secular” job, I felt I never did either of them as well as I would have liked to.

    I’m thinking you should become a professional blogger…

  13. 14 Randy Miller September 18, 2008 at 7:54 am

    Whoa dude. I am very impressed with your attitude and maturity. As the sole pastor, I’ve had to downsize and cut staff which is very painful when it’s done with integrity, honesty and “all cards on the table.”

    I’m praying that your church has a vision to reach the lost in Huntsville.

    I can’t wait to host you guys this weekend. It’ll be a hoot!

  14. 15 Alastair Vance September 18, 2008 at 9:31 am

    I am a worship leader and hold down a full-time job. It’s all I know. You’ll do great Billy.

  15. 16 brent(inWorship) September 21, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    I can’t help you with contacts in your area, but I’d love to pray for you. It’s been amazing to follow you on your journey over the last year and I am sure god has some amazing things in store for you in the next!

  16. 17 fmckinnon October 6, 2008 at 5:12 am

    Billy,
    So I missed all of this, apparently, while I was leaving for a week in Mexico. Sounds like your attitude in this has incredible maturity. Since then, I’ve seen from the more recent entry that you did get a job.

    Praying for you!

    For the Kingdom,
    Fred McKinnon
    http://www.fredmckinnon.com
    http://www.theworshipcommunity.com


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