Ben Connelly: Spiritual Growth in Bivocational Ministry

Pastors rarely become bivocational in order to grow spiritually. Yet, they often find bivocationality an unexpected path of personal, spiritual growth.

Ben Connelly, founder of The Equipping Group, is a church planter and part of the servant leader team for Salt+Light Community in Fort Worth, Texas.

In Chapter 10, “Bivocational Ministry as a Path of Unexpected Spiritual Growth,” Ben Connelly shares results and insights from a survey he administered to bivocational ministers regarding their motives and outcomes related to ministry. Motives were grouped in three categories: finances, mission, and convictions. Reported outcomes of bivocational ministry revealed several themes: growth in humility and dependence, a deepened need for a team, and growth in sanctification. Connelly’s own experience in bivocational ministry and working with other bivocational ministers in various contexts revealed a pattern of unexpected personal spiritual growth within the bivocational minister. This pattern was supported by the research. Those surveyed entered bivocational ministry for one or multiple reasons, rarely related to their personal spiritual growth. Yet, nearly every minister surveyed shared personal spiritual growth as an outcome, which they did not expect but which came through this unique form of ministry. Regardless of motives, bivocational ministers often find this a path of personal, spiritual growth.

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.

For resources on bivocational and multivocational ministry, see the book’s webpage.