77 | Finding Success as a Bi-Vocational Pastor

August 16, 2023

How do you grow your church as a bi-vocational pastor?

There's nothing tougher than growing a church with limited hours and resources — but it's possible!

In episode 77 of the Fly on the Wall podcast, we what bi-vocational pastors must due in order to find traction and growth in their church.

Top Quotables from this Week

"If you have to manufacture momentum in a program, it’s not worth doing."

"Vision must be worth following, clear, and connectable."

"Find 2-3 things you can do well and put all your energy on those things."

"Vision leaks and people drift"

"Tell stories about the behavior you want repeated."

"Find the two or three things you do well, get that team winning in all those areas."

"Put on amazing Sunday experiences and create a very clear process where we engage people through serving our groups at a quicker pace that will create growth and that will create focus."


Mindsets Shifts for Bi-Vocational Pastor Success

  • Progressive Shifts: Chris stresses that leadership growth is a continuous journey of adapting to new paradigms. As a church grows, leadership must evolve. This includes transitioning from ministering to individuals to leading through them, and from concentrating on attendance to focusing on engagement.
  • Quality over Quantity: Chris advises against spreading resources thin across numerous activities. Instead, concentrate on executing two or three initiatives exceptionally well. This approach creates momentum, leading to success and buy-in.
  • Top-Level Leadership: Chris highlights the importance of assembling a high-caliber leadership team. As the pastor, surrounding yourself with strong leaders who share the vision is vital for driving growth and navigating challenges.
  • Investment over Interaction: Chris emphasizes investing in team members rather than merely spending time with them. Nurturing leaders and helping them grow leads to greater ownership and commitment within the team.

Crafting a Vision that Sticks

  • Make it compelling: Chris emphasizes the importance of having a vision worth following. A vision that not only inspires people to commit their time but also their financial resources. The vision needs to be clear, leaving no room for ambiguity.
  • Connect people to it: Chris highlights the need to show people how to connect to the vision. By creating a sense of ownership, individuals are more likely to support the vision. People are more invested when they're part of the journey.
  • Communicate consistently Chris underscores the importance of consistent communication. He uses the analogy of a leaking water bottle to emphasize that vision needs regular refilling. Different communication methods, such as stories, videos, and interviews, can help maintain the vision's resonance.

Creating a Church of Ownership

Lastly, Chris addresses the challenge of creating ownership and buy-in within a bi-vocational team. He underscores the importance of focusing on initiatives with natural momentum rather than forcing manufactured momentum. Chris outlines steps to foster ownership:

  • Focus on Momentum: Chris recommends streamlining efforts and concentrating on the initiatives that are naturally gaining momentum. These successes fuel enthusiasm and ownership among the team members.
  • Strategic Selection: Chris advises pastors to focus on initiatives that resonate with their strengths and passions. Choose activities that align with the church's core mission and contribute to its growth.
  • Celebrate Wins: Celebrating victories, no matter how small, encourages ownership and buy-in. People thrive in an environment that recognizes and celebrates their efforts.

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