5 things to do before you give up being bi-vocational

This is the third post in a mini-series about bi-vocational leaders in churches (The bi-vocational leader & 5 reasons why I’m happy to be bi-vcoational).

There are many leaders in many churches who work two jobs and for many there comes a time when they wonder whether life wouldn’t really be better with just one job and go full-time for the church. There have been several times in my life where it’s not just felt like two full time jobs but has actually been two full-time jobs and I can do that for only so long before it breaks me.

  1. Don’t assume that it’s the ‘secular job’ you need to give up. For some your arena of calling, vocation, fruitfulness and gifting is not in the church but in the ‘secular’ (for lack of a better word) job. While it might be the church that is applying the pressure, it shouldn’t be a given that you should jump that way. Others (like me) know, that the job is just a job, a way of paying the bills so they can work for the church. You need to know which one you are, so you know which job you need to invest in and which job to let go.
  2. Ensure you’re working in a team. If you’re not working in a team, then every job whether you’re good at it or not is going to come your way and instead of being focussed on your calling, you’ll spend way too long doing things that you’re really not good at. You will quickly find yourself in the situation of feeling like all your time is full and you’re still not doing the things you feel called to. In other words, a team ensures you can get to the specifics and away from the general.
  3. Ensure you’ve delegated as much as possible. When you’ve delegated out to your team everything (or as near as) that is not your specific gifting and calling and you still need more time to do everything that’s opening up for you, that’s the time to consider making the switch.
  4. Ensure the need is related to the mission. Too often what ‘needs to be done’ and ‘the mission’ get tangled up and while they are sometimes the same, that’s not always the case. Keeping your focus on your mission helps to ensure then when you make the jump from bi-vocational to vocational you’re giving yourself (and your church) the best chance of reaping the fruits from the extra investment.
  5. Ensure you plan the transition to include rest. Usually by the time you make the switch the two jobs have become increasingly tiring and the danger is you move into one full time job (not necessarily less work than before) tired and exhausted. While you gain from increased focus and a simplified life, it helps to plan in some rest in the middle so that you make the switch ready, rested and refreshed. Take as long as you can afford/need.

What advice would you offer? What have I missed?