Why are we not looking to Black bivocational ministers to inform our understanding about what it means to thrive in this context?
This is one of a series of video posts from the authors of Bivocational and Beyond: Educating for Thriving Multivocational Ministry (forthcoming April 2022). This book is an edited volume for church leaders and those that teach and support them. Contributors include bivocational pastors and other reflective practitioners as well as theological educators and researchers.
In Chapter 4, “Black and Bivocational,” Jessica Young Brown provides deep insight into bivocational ministry based on empirical research with Black pastors and ministers. Noting that Black pastors have been engaged in this ministerial dynamic for a long time, she asks, why are we not looking to Black bivocational ministers to inform our understanding about what it means to thrive in this context? Thus, this chapter looks to Black bivocational clergy as exemplars for navigating bivocational ministry. Based on survey and interview data, Brown explores issues of gifts and call, finances, self-care, professional responsibilities and boundaries, as well as challenges, such as patriarchy. She observes, among other things, that women may need additional resources and sources of support than men in bivocational ministry. She concludes that the Black church must reckon with the expectations that are placed on ministers in general and bivocational ministers in particular, and suggests a scaling back of the functional expectations placed on ministers to hold sacred space, allowing for their human limitations and sense of wellness.
For resources on bivocational and multivocational ministry, see the book’s webpage.