Dr. Dorsett is a bivocational pastor and church planting missionary in Vermont. He is the author of Developing Leadership Teams in the Bivocational Church and Bible Brain Teasers: Fun Adventures through the Bible. He also serves as a church planting catalyst with the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. He has a passion for helping the next generation discover a meaningful faith and become leaders in sharing that faith with others.
This series looks at the importance of bivocational ministry and bivocational ministers in today’s church. The previous articles in this series are:
Part 1: Bivocational Ministry is a Growing Method for Ministry.
Part 2: Lay People Are Willing to Help Pastors – But Only If They Are Trained.
Though many people think of bivocational ministry as being a negative experience, I do not share that opinion. Though bivocational ministry has its challenges, it always had great rewards.
One of the challenges that bivocational pastors must overcome is a perceived second-class status in ministry. Over time, this perception has resulted in a negative social stigma being attached to the concept of bivocational ministry. Some pastors feel a sense of inadequacy when serving in bivocational roles. They may not even want to think of themselves as bivocational because of the perceived stigma attached to the term. I have heard many pastors declare that they are not bivocational; they just work a second job. They deny the reality of what they are because somewhere along the way someone told them that being bivocational was negative. I want to challenge that notion and proclaim to everyone that being bivocational is not a bad thing.
Dr. Steve Gaines is the pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. He has earned a baccalaureate degree from Union University, and the MDiv (1984) and PhD (1991) degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Gaines has also served on the State Board of Missions for the Alabama Baptist State Convention, served on the committee to revise the Baptist Faith and Message in 2000, preached the keynote sermon at the 2004 convention in Indianapolis, and served as president of the 2005 SBC Pastor’s Conference in Nashville. He is also the author of a popular devotional called Morning Manna, and in 2007 he published When God Comes to Church.
SBC Today: What are some great things that are happening in your church?
Steve Gaines: In 2007, we began a ministry called “Bellevue Loves Memphis.” It is a service-evangelism model that has helped us become more involved in community missions in our region. We try to “find a need and meet it; find a hurt and heal it.” For years, liberal churches have participated in social ministry, but they have neglected genuine evangelism. We’ve coupled social ministry with soul winning and found it to be a powerful combination. Social ministry is not an end in itself. Rather, it is a means to the end of soul winning. Social ministry opens the doors for us to verbally share the Gospel.
In the past several years, Bellevue has worked with inner-city schools repairing grounds and facilities and tutoring students. We’ve assisted the City of Memphis with clean-up efforts to remove urban blight. We’ve distributed massive amounts of food and clothing to needy people. We have also ministered to people in prison, as well as those who are shut-ins and in nursing homes. We’ve repaired facilities of inner-city churches. We have purchased and manned a mobile-dental clinic that has provided over $1 million in free dental care to those who cannot afford it. We always verbally share the Gospel with the people to whom we minister.
People don’t go to heaven because they minister to the poor. But people that are on their way to heaven will desire to engage in ministry to “the least of these.” If you don’t care about helping people in need, you have every reason to question whether or not you are really saved (cf. Matt. 25:31-46). Every local church should minister to “the least of these” in their community and couple it with soul winning. It will change you and your church.
By Franklin L. Kirksey, Pastor, First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort, Alabama, and author of Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice.
These expositions by Dr. Kirksey are offered to suggest sermon or Bible study ideas for pastors and other church leaders, both from the exposition and from the illustrative material, or simply for personal devotion.
We gather today to rededicate the cornerstone of the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort located in Spanish Fort, Alabama.
To dedicate means to set something apart for a purpose. In a spiritual sense dedication involves consecration. To consecrate means to set something apart for God’s service.
This sanctuary was dedicated the second Sunday of 1962. Now, fifty years later we come together on this day, March 4, 2012, to rededicate the cornerstone of the sanctuary.
We look back with grateful hearts for the things God has accomplished in this place for His honor and glory. Now we look to the future with a sincere desire to rededicate this cornerstone and the facilities that it symbolically represents. May we continue to look up to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the church for His hedge of protection, hand of provision, and hope of promotion. May our ordered lives confess the beauty of His peace and the benefit of His power. To God alone be the glory!
In a message titled “Cornerstone” based on 1 Peter 2:4-8, Dr. Joel Gregory shares, “Today a cornerstone is merely decorative. In biblical times such a stone was structurally significant. It bound the building together.” Continue reading