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I believe that bivocational ministry is closer to the biblical model of ministry, like the apostle Paul’s tent-making to support his ministry. It is truer to Scripture than the “traditional” model of ministry: one full-time pastor per church. When you look at the Global South, very few people have the luxury of a full-time salary coming from the church. Bi-vocational ministry is less focused on the pastor as the head of the church, which means that the focus for ministry is shared by all. People are better mobilized for ministry. Laity feel more equipped and empowered. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s the rest of my experience and my take on bivocational ministry.

One connected calling

My calling is firmly to ministry. On the weekends, my wife and I lead our church, which was planted in 2016. I preach every Sunday. In 2017, I graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Private Christian schooling for our kids was a priority for us, so I needed to find full-time work that would support this dream. We embraced the idea of bivocational ministry.

A consultant meeting with the owner of All Metal Performance turned into a job offer. I accepted immediately. I am now the CEO, managing finance, human resources, and production for the company. Our company is geared toward producing the industrial distillery. The owner is also a believer and wants to spend more of his life working for and in the global church. He gives away 60 percent of profits annually, and I get to administer that gifting.

The two jobs intersect very well. I manage 115 people at All Metal Performance, and I get to model Christ to those people on a daily basis. I have seen God use me in powerful ways to accomplish his work both on the job site and in the church setting. I have hired 20 percent of our crew to be believers, and 10 percent have a personal relationship with the Lord. Our company is known to be a Christian company. The job environment has changed incredibly since I have taken the position as a Christian.

Once in a while I experience a timing conflict, which has made me more of a delegator of some of the aspects of both positions. It’s easier to delegate the work of All Metal Performance, but the pastorate is what is more demanding.

God has used my administrative skills to advance many different ministries. God is using my skills to administer his kingdom through organization and development and nurturing. My call is to work in the ministry context.

The benefits of bivocational ministry

The first benefit I see of bivocational ministry is that I am a full-time employee, just like everyone else in the church. I can model to everyone how you can volunteer at the church and that is extremely rewarding. When you are a co-laborer with others and have a pastoral ministry at church, you can encourage everyone to mobilize because all can relate to the balance of both positions.

The second benefit is that we are all in this together. I had a serious conversation with my church letting them know that we are going to do this together. Being forced to delegate and not control everything has encouraged laypeople to grow in Christ and grow their own giftedness. The church has grown more—numerical growth, spiritual growth, and emotional growth—since I have made the decision to be bivocational.

I have seen God at work, providing for everything. When you have the opportunity to work for a company that believes everything belongs to the Lord, you get to see everything multiplied. God has provided for us in every way possible.

Hanoi Avila

Hanoi Avila pastors Iglesia Edificadores in Leander, Texas, and is the CEO of All Metal Performance.