The necessity of Bivocational Replanting

By Adam Wyatt

Bivocational ministry is on the rise. At least 30% of all Southern Baptist pastors are bivocational or part-time. Additionally, if we consider that more churches are continuing to die it only makes sense that more churches are going to struggle to pay a pastor a full-time salary. I truly hope that for the glory of Christ, men will be willing to consider bivocational ministry so that churches can be shepherded and replanted. However, I know of many who are not willing to even consider a bivocational church as an option.

A question that must be asked is: “Are pastors willing to do whatever they can do in order to serve the Lord?” If a man cannot answer this in a resounding “yes” then replanting might not be a good fit (I might even say that pastoring is not!).

A replant needs a pastor regardless of their size or budget. I continue to have conversations with men who want to pastor, but will not consider a church that cannot pay a certain level of a salary. While I understand the need for a certain level of financial security, I regretfully see a certain level of comfort that is being sought. I currently serve a smaller church that pays me a bivocational salary. In order to provide for my family (which is my call not my church’s) I do a number of things: teach English at our local high school, coach football, drive a bus, teach some Adjunct classes at Belhaven University, and other things. I understand the challenge of this, but without doing this other work I could not serve where God has called me. Sure, working as much as I do is difficult…but this is only way that I can serve my church, and I gladly (although sometimes tiredly) do it.

While a full-time church might be desired, we cannot simply ignore the smaller churches. Jesus loves his Bride. Jesus faithfully serves his Bride. So should we—this is what replanting is all about.

Published March 3, 2016

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Adam Wyatt

Adam Wyatt is the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Leakesvile, Mississippi. A second-generation pastor, he has developed a love for the rural church in the Southern context. He loves his wife, his three beautiful daughters, good conversation, books and coffee. He is also pursuing his PhD in Biblical Theology from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City. Connect with Adam @pastor_adam