Select Page


“God expects us to give not as an afterthought, but as our top financial priority.”, – Alex Cook

When a pastor works part-time (Part 2)

Feb 10, 2016 | MINISTRY | 0 comments

pastor works part time

God calls pastors to serve the church, a representative of God’s office that is open 24/7. When a pastor works part-time we would think that he would spend less time in ministry. In reality, most pastors wouldn’t touch church hours at all. But before we read through this post, did you miss the first part? Click here.

The bi-vocational pastor?

A “bi-vocational” person is one who has two vocations. When used in regard to a pastor, it simply means the pastor is not fully funded by the church and therefore has to augment his income from other sources. Right? Wrong? This is the question that comes next after we have seen how many ministers’ pay is often not enough to cover their basic needs, forcing them to seek outside compensation.

Much argument has been aired against a minister working outside of the church, foremost of which is that this is proof of the pastor’s lack of faith. But when we read the Bible, we read of characters of unquestionable faith and zeal practising their craft even as they preached and performed miracles for the Lord.

In Acts 18, we read of Paul working as a tentmaker:

“After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.”

Michael Alford, in his article, Why it’s OK for Your Pastor to Have A Job Outside Church, points out that “nine chapters or so after being called to preach, Paul was still making tents to make ends meet and pay for his living expenses and his ministry. Being a working man didn’t keep him from preaching, and it didn’t make him any less of a preacher.”

There is nothing wrong nor shameful about when a pastor works part-time to feed, clothe and send one’s kids to school. On the contrary, it would reflect poorly on a minister if he allows his family to starve and be destitute under the pretext of “doing the Lord’s work.”

Ray Gilder, the national coordinator of the SBC Bivocational and Small Church Leadership Network and pastor of Gath Baptist Church in Tennessee argues, “why would anyone be critical of a man who is trying to work double duty so he can provide for his family while giving pastoral leadership to a church that needs him?”

Not to be a burden

While some pastors may have been forced to become bi-vocational, others choose to do so because they want to continue doing God’s work without being a burden to others.

In 2 Thessalonians 3:7-9, the Apostle Paul says: “For you, yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, labouring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate.”

In any case, whether he is bi-vocational by circumstance or personal choice, what is important is that the pastor fulfills his obligations to the Lord with his whole heart, mind and strength in the same way he provides for his family.

In the end, he can still expect to hear the words “well done, my good and faithful servant.”


We have a free eBook offer to guide and help you understand why a pastor works part-time. You can download this today by clicking the link below:



The Pastor’s Salary Guide

It is true that the decision to become a pastor depends primarily on whether one has been called into the Lord’s service for that specific purpose. It is an act of obedience to a direct command and is often heeded without thought of compensation. That said, it is also true that the Lord made sure that his priests are provided for and their needs are taken care of so that they can give themselves wholly into His service.

In fact, He gave specific directions to set aside part of the people’s offerings for the use of the priests and their families. Priests are given the choice part of animals and a sufficient quantity of bread, grain and other produce brought into the Lord’s temple.

Our most popular webinar is free to CW readers! Thanks to the team of Wealth With Purpose!


The Purpose of the Tithe

The Purpose of the Tithe

Some say the original purpose of the tithe is to feed (provide for) pastors and to fund the church. What is the purpose of the tithe today?

Building A Culture Of Generosity

Building A Culture Of Generosity

We all have a radically generous God. It’s not impossible to begin building a culture of generosity when God is the source! He will supply!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This