Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Laid off, or Full-time? Confessions of a Bi-Vocational Pastor

My job site!

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Eph 4:12

I look forward to the day that I "get it right the first time." So many times, I must confess, I find myself stumbling over what some one of my age and experience should have seen right off the bat. I know I learn from my mistakes, I would just like to avail myself of other forms of education as well. But this I have learned about "trial and error;" without error, the trial is inconclusive.

Last October, my "day job" fell prey to the recession. In January, I landed a temp job that lasted three months. Consequently, I have been laid off for six of the last nine months. I have spent much time searching for employment. Fortunately, my unemployment benefits are still kicking in.

I have spent much time frantically searching for employment. Then during a conversation with my beloved bride, it hit me! (Not my bride; the thought, I mean.) I am acting like I don't have a job! I have a job, I just don't have the income! I came to Iowa to build a church. For a long time I prayed about being "full time" in the ministry. Then I find myself unemployed and I spend every spare moment looking for a secular job.

It is not just a matter of semantics. It is a mind set that can be detrimental to the ministry. I am a bi-vocational pastor. "Pastor" is the first vocation. God help me never to forget that. I am still looking for a secular job, but I am investing this valuable time God has given me to doing the "work of the ministry." God is, and will continue to provide. Would that I had taken that attitude early on.

Just a thought. Thank you for reading


  1. Amen, Bro. Cannon. After starting our church, I had to take a part-time job as well, and kept it for three years. Last November, I too was laid off, and didn't know how ends would be met. But God has taken care of us and we have been full-time since then. And the church has benefited from it, too. We pray that your church will grow to a point where you will not need a secular job again.
    James Rasbeary

  2. I have been much in prayer for you and your ministry. I know the Lord can take care of the needs in our life. We can't forget, as you have said "'Pastor' is the first vocation"

    Thank You for the reminder