On this side of the Atlantic, Scottish Presbyterian minister and missiologist Peter Neilson has published an important series of lectures on the future of the church in Scotland, which is not without relevance to the Irish Presbyterian context. In it he coins the phrase “portfolio ministry” to describe tentmaking, giving some urban examples of it […]

Nerger and Ramsay deny that it should be the goal of every bivocational planter to eventually become fully funded. On this issue, however, they are definitely a minority voice. The paucity of references to bivocationals in the planting literature has already been noted, but even those who do acknowledge its validity seem to do so […]

While bivocational ministry has a long pedigree and is becoming more common in trying to resource smaller and more isolated congregations, what of its potential as a model for the planting of new churches? One of the most commonly articulated reasons for approaching bivocational planting with caution is burn-out due to the inability to cope […]

Inevitably, the figure of the Apostle Paul looms large over the discussion, both in terms of his personal practice and his defense of his right both to accept financial support and his equal right to earn his own living. In one of the very few books dealing with bivocational church planting, Steve Nerger and Eric […]

While there is biblical warrant for teaching and shepherding the flock being seen as vocations, and for those who preach the gospel earning a living from the gospel, a variety of reasons – lack of financial resources, a desire to continue serving in some capacity within one’s field or profession, a more flexible view of […]

So by bivocatonal do we simply mean what is commonly called “tentmaking’? There is some ambiguity regarding definition throughout the literature. Drawing on Paul’s experience, the phrase “tentmaking” has entered the Christian vocabulary to refer to bivocational ministry. Of course, the term “bivocational” is itself misleading, since it could be interpreted as advocating two vocations […]

As part of the discussion on my earlier post on my Californian worship experience, a former colleague and Californian pastor, Todd, made some very pertinent points.  He honestly spoke of the pressure to try to compete with other more consumerist models, and about some of the real cultural changes affecting the Western church.  He also […]

Well,  we had our first experience of California church this past weekend.  Well, not really our first, since I have extremely fond memories of ministering at Peninsula Bible Church in 2001, but that was SIlicon Valley with really bright, thoughtful and theologically astute guys on staff.  This was South California; in fact So-Cal at it’s […]

  For years, Tim Keller has preached on how believers can help redeem their cities not just through words and acts of mercy (evangelism and social concern), but also in how they work. Every Good Endeavour was written to enable Christians not just to make sense of their work, but to chart their way through […]

In Work Matters, Tom Nelson, Kansas pastor and author on vocational issues states: “the often unsettling truth is that while we shape our work, our work shapes us and the world around us.”  This can lead to many people developing unhealthy attitudes to work (workaholism, sloth, or a dualistic sacred/secular divide) and seeing the workplace […]

Creideamh

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