The Surprising Gifts of Bivocational Ministry

Written by Jennifer A Guerra Aldana for Fuller Youth Institute

Sunday is my favorite day of the week. It is the only day when I can fully focus on my local congregation: the people, the stories, the ins and outs of all the dynamics that make the worship service come together.

Sundays are full of life, excitement, and people that I love. They are a family reunion, a time to be reminded of what it means to follow Jesus. The way individuals gather to proclaim Jesus, care for each other, and carry each other’s burdens will forever be one of my favorite things to witness.

Once everyone has left and the lights are turned off, I hop in my car, take off my heels and head home. Without fail, at home I return to a sink full of dishes, a stack of homework, unfolded laundry, and unanswered emails. Eventually, I meet the couch with a full heart and an exhausted body and soul.

In all their fullness, Sundays give me life.

Mondays, however, are tough.

Throughout the week, I balance my roles as pastor, FYI staff member, and student. Bivocational ministry is not easy, but for me, it has been a formative practice. It has shaped my understanding of time. Even though I get a rush of excitement when I cross things off of my to-do list, time no longer runs in the same way it used to. Reality is, not everything will get done most days. But how the time is spent is as important as the task list itself.

Often bivocational ministry is treated like a curse or a necessary evil, but I have learned to see it as a gift. It is a reality that many pastors are living into, and it is a rhythm that has tuned my ears to hear the whispers of Jesus as I am in motion throughout my week.

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