U.S. needs ‘bivocational pastor movement’
Adam Miller, Baptist Press
June 23, 2011

U.S. needs ‘bivocational pastor movement’

U.S. needs ‘bivocational pastor movement’
Adam Miller, Baptist Press
June 23, 2011


churches and bivocational pastors are a Great Commission powerhouse, a North

American Mission Board leader told the Bivocational Small Church Leadership

Network during the SBC annual meeting in Phoenix.

“Everything that we’re doing is to reposition the North American Mission Board

to get behind local churches, because you are the pacesetters,” Aaron Coe, NAMB’s

VP for mobilization, told several dozen small church and bivocational pastors

at the BSCLN luncheon June 14.

Photo by Adam Miller.

Aaron Coe, right, vice president of mobilization at the North American Mission Board (NAMB), chats with bivocational pastor, Jeffrey Brown of Grace Point Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. Brown and Coe attended the luncheon of the Bivocational Small Church Leadership Network before the last session of the June 15 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Ariz.

“The only way we’re going to reach North America and the

world is if we have a bivocational pastor movement,” Coe said.

“If you add up all the 50 largest mega-churches, add up total attendance and

they all moved to New York City, you’d only be reaching 8 percent of the population

there,” Coe said. “The only way it’s going to get done is through people who

will rise up and step out.

“What you are doing is vital. It’s actually the backbone of what we do. We

realize that and we’re passionate about that. The only way we’ll do it is if

every man who meets the biblical qualification for pastor is released to

pastor. The church of the future will look more and more like what you guys are


Coe, who planted The Gallery Church in New York City,

said all shapes and sizes of churches will be needed to reach the nation – from

small towns to urban areas.

Southern Baptist bivocational pastors often balance two careers – starting or

shepherding a church while working another equally demanding fulltime job. This

frees up the pastor and the church to do its ministry without as much financial

constraint. Most bivocational pastors lead small to mid-sized churches.

Ray Gilder, national coordinator for the Bivocational Small Church Leadership

Network, noted, “One of the goals we’ve had in our organization over the years

has been to raise the level of awareness and appreciation for bivocational

pastors. And it is happening.

“We are planting our lives in areas and pockets where we can’t afford to send

someone but must rely on bivocational pastors to reach those communities with

the Gospel.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE – Adam Miller is a writer for the North American Mission Board.)