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.

Stream or download this 12-minute podcast, and subscribe to Theology Refresh in iTunes.


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Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Melissa, and their four children, and is the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.