PARKVILLE, Md.–Kurt Wesolowski was a bivocational pastor in Iowa and Long Island, N.Y., and now serves as a full-time pastor at Parkville Baptist Church in Parkville, Md. He referred to some of his fields of service as being “five miles beyond the Great Commission.” Here’s what he meant:
“I never felt led to go to the places that were more ‘traditionally’ Southern Baptist. I felt the Lord calling me to the lesser-reached places. It has always been a joy to see those that have never heard of Jesus hear about Him and come to know Him as Savior and Lord in places like New York and Iowa where I’ve served. Places where there is not a church on every corner where people can hop to. In the place in New York where I served, there was one Southern Baptist church for every 150,000 people.”
Kurt added that the needs in such an area are numerous, “but the Lord has always been faithful to meet and provide for those needs.”
He described some of the differences between having been bivocational and now being “full-time”:
“Being a bivocational pastor necessitated focusing on the ‘basics,’ preparing messages, visitation, basic administrative tasks, and oft necessitated ‘doing whatever was necessary’ to get things done. Sometimes it was printing bulletins, or leading music in worship if those responsible were not able to be there. Many bivocational churches, especially in new work areas, rejoice in seeing people come to Christ but also have leadership challenges in the life of the church while these new lives in Christ are discipled. Being ‘full-time’ has allowed me to focus more time on three areas of ministry, prayer, sermon preparation and visitation. It also has provided more time to engage in the community, connect with local schools, little leagues, and community ministries to assist our church in being more effective in engaging with our community in the name of Christ.
“Being full-time has also allowed me to get to know and interact with fellow pastors in our association. For many bivocational pastors, evening and weekend meetings and gatherings are not possible because those precious hours are needed to prepare messages and visit.”
Kurt added, “Regardless of being bivocational or full-time, ministry needs are still the same. People are in need of ministry…members need to be visited, the gospel needs to be shared with the lost. All churches still seem to never have enough leaders to serve where needed, and never feel like they have enough resources to do all the things that they believe God is leading them to do.”
How does that get you to thinking? Do you know other “Heroes for the Lord” like Kurt? What have you found that helps them? Please share it with Kenny Heath, at email@example.com, or visit the “Bivocational & Small Church Leadership Network (BSCLN) Associations Group” Facebook page.
This article first appeared in “Back at the Barn,” a newsletter written by Kenny Heath, director of missions for the Western Association in Maryland, to serve as encouragement for directors of mission, church planting catalysts and others who help bivocational and smaller church pastors.