What Is Bi-Vocational Ministry?

Bi-vocational ministry is a strategic and challenging call. Danny Ovalle, a bi-vocational pastor in New England, recently joined us to talk about the rationale and practice of serving as a pastor while supporting his family with an additional job.

The central passage about compensation for ministers, or lack of compensation, is found in 1 Corinthians 9:1–18. This apostolic precedent, along with particular contexts and practical concerns, forms the foundation for why bi-vocational ministry could be a wise option.

In this ministry-angled episode of Theology Refresh, Danny talks about what it’s like to live and work among his people at the First Church of Christ, a congregation that began in 1682. He closes with a word of encouragement and prayer for other bi-vocational ministers.

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Full author jonathan parnell

Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God, and is the lead pastor of Cities Church in Minneapolis–St. Paul, where he lives with his wife, Melissa, and their five children. He is co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary, author of Reading to Walk: Meditations for the Christian Life, and co-editor of Designed for Joy: How the Gospel Impacts Men and Women, Identity and Practice.