I have been in bi-vocational (now tri-vocational) for over 15 years and throughout that time have collected several bits of information that may help those of you that choose this challenging, yet rewarding ministry choice.

A Bi-vocational pastor (BiVo) can face unique issues related to time management while church planting and church leadership.

The major challenge for a BiVo is understanding your bandwidth — knowing what you need to do vs. what you *have* to do. What part of your time is devoted to church/ministry and what part is devoted to other work and how the interchange between the two will take place. 

I have found these areas to be the most time consuming and these solutions very helpful:


1. Establish and Equip an Equipping Team

Working solo requires you to do everything. Establishing and enabling a team shares the workload. Lead into your gift-set and supplement your team with people that can help with your deficiencies. This of course, requires you to know your strengths and weaknesses.

The more equipped the team is, the less bandwidth is required from you in the long run. 

Spend time one-on-one coaching your team so that they are equipped and enabled to do the ministry God has called and equipped them to do. This will enable them to equip others.


2. Clearly Communicate

Let your team know what your workload looks like, clearly communicate your limitations and expectations to your team. Your congregation, through your leadership team, should also know who should be contacted for any given situation. 

Utilize the technological advances we have available to us for expediting communication between team members. If you are not aware of many communication tools, Gospel Ventures offers free webinars which will expose and train you on the best practices for communication.


3. Sermon Prep

My greatest discovery was revealed to me by my preaching mentor. Book studies. I have found preaching through a book on Sunday morning and teaching through books during small groups or bible studies work well, save time during sermon prep and equip your team. 

You will know your next text and by studying/reading the entire book you have a deep context for the passage you will be teaching. Thus, cutting prep time and allowing God’s Word to enlighten your team.

Knowing when to say ‘no’ and knowing what needs to be prioritized, communicating your limitations and expectations, utilizing technology and teamwork and directly teaching from the biblical text, makes the task of time management for BiVo pastors much easier and as a by product, demonstrates proper stewardship of your time.

Rick Bambrick

Rick is the COO and Staff Support Leader for the Gospel Ventures Network and co-pastor of Christ Community Church in Buena Park, CA. He is married to Dawn and the father of two grown kids.

family, strengthen, BiVoRick Bambrick