Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bivocationalism and Young Adults

Young adults flocked to mega-churches in the late 1990's. But the impersonal nature of such churches did not meet their long term spiritual needs. Now those same young adults are beginning to migrate to smaller churches as they seek an authentic sense of community. Because those smaller churches have modest budgets, it is often necessary for pastors of those small churches to work another job in addition to serving their church. But working two jobs leaves those pastors in danger of burnout if some of their pastoral duties are not delegated to others. Young adults are increasingly interested in serving in leadership roles in churches. Perhaps the future of the bivocational church includes recruiting young adults to be part of their leadership team?

Leadership teams working in partnership with pastors can truly make pastors healthier and ministry more effective. I have written a book called Developing Leadership Teams in the Bivocational Church, which provides concise and effective guidance for small-church congregations and pastors looking to build and strengthen their leadership teams. Using New Testament church leadership principles, this book offers lessons, exercises, and worksheets to train lay people to help their pastors. Six fun, easy-to-use, and successfully tested training sessions show pastors how to confidently empower lay people. By learning to work together on leadership teams, lay leaders and pastors alike can more effectively share the Gospel with their community and can assure the maximum long-term health of their church.

Other leaders have said this about Developing Leadership Teams in the Bivocational Church:

"In every generation a new fresh voice emerges to sound the call in regard to vital truths that keep the modern church focused. Dr. Terry Dorsett stands on the shoulders of writers and practitioners who have been the voices in the past for an understanding and practice of bivocationalism in Christian ministry and missions. Terry's unique contribution to this subject is in providing practical handles for implementing a successful multiple leadership approach for bivocational churches. I commend the reading and implementing of this valuable tool." Dr. George Garner, Rural and Bivocational/Small Church Missional Strategist, North American Mission Board, SBC, Alpharetta, Georgia

"Bivocational ministers face tremendous pressures as they try to balance various demands on their time. For some the pressure becomes too much and they leave the ministry or they see their family life negatively affected. Terry Dorsett provides another solution. In this book he challenges bivocational ministers to form ministry teams that can give ownership of the ministry to a wider body of believers. Terry does more than just challenge his readers to develop teams; he provides the practical tools every bivocational minister will need to do that. I have not seen a better resource that pastors can use to equip their lay leaders to do effective ministry."
Dennis Bickers, Area Minister for the American Baptist Churches of Indiana and Kentucky and author of three books on bivocational ministry

"Bivocational ministry is tough. Dr. Terry Dorsett gets it and writes an easily read book to help in this often overwhelming endeavor. The first half of the book gives an excellent overview of the bivocational pastor with his challenges and opportunities. The beauty of this book is found in the later part of the book which will help the bivocational pastor train existing leadership to assume some of the duties of the pastorate in a shared manner. I highly recommend this to any bivocational pastor."
Steve Nerger, Director of Church Planting for the Baptist Convention of New England and former National Missionary for Bivocational Ministry for the North American Mission Board, SBC and the author of a book on bivocational church planting


  1. I like this.

  2. Terry,

    Just ordered two copies of your book. Maybe you can come visit me at Christ Community Church in Plainfield where you can have a cup of java, meet Brian Sayers, and sign the books for us (I bought the second one for him).



  3. Wish someone would have given me a resource like this when I was just starting out in ministry.

  4. I would be pleased to be involved in this program.

  5. Looking for practical ways to put some of the principles in this blog post into action? Purchase my book, Developing Leadership Teams in the Bivocational Church. The first part of the book explains why bivocational ministry is biblical, normal and missional. The second part of the book explains how to mobilize the laity to do high level ministry in a team setting with the pastor so that the church can be effective in reaching its community for Christ.
    The book is published by Crossbooks and you can buy the book directly from them at:


    The book is also available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobles.com and a many other online bookstores.
    If you live in Central Vermont, you can purchase a copy at the Faith Community Church in Barre, VT.

  6. Jessie,
    Pick up a copy of the book from Amazon and after you read it, let's chat.