EP 229 – Serving in Bi-Vocational Ministry
Are you a bi-vocational pastor? Take a couple of minutes and fill out this survey: https://su.vc/bivosurvey
Pastor Matt MacNaughton is back on the Bootcamp to talk further about bi-vocational ministry. This time we are also joined but Pastor Colin Pugh. Collin pastors Clinton Baptist Church in the D.C. area.
Maintaining Spiritual Appetite and Pastoral Grit: Colin emphasizes the importance of maintaining a strong relationship with God, especially in the challenges of bi-vocational ministry. He highlights key verses from Jude (20-21) as instrumental in his spiritual growth. JimBo explores how Colin managed the high expectations of pastoring two churches and the importance of maintaining energy and spiritual vitality.
Serving Your Spouse: The guys discuss practical ways to serve and support their wives amid busy and demanding schedules, highlighting the significance of intentional communication and quality time.
Shared Leadership: Matt shares strategies for bivocational pastors, including determining priorities, developing leaders, and delegating responsibilities to create margin for essential tasks. Colin emphasizes the role of small groups, one-on-one meetings, and showing appreciation for small wins in developing leaders within the church.
JimBo Stewart: [00:00:00] Here we are back in the bootcamp. I hope you’re ready for the next episode. we have brought back to continue the conversation on Biblical vocational ministry, pastor Matt McNaughton, the resident church planter, not replanter of the replant bootcamp podcast and the replant team. But he is joined today, by his comrade in arms, his coworker in the field of Biblical vocational ministry research, listening to the field and trying to serve Bible guys, one of our.
Pastor Pugh, Pastor Colin Pugh is the urban renewal specialist on the replant team at NAMM. so Colin, welcome to the podcast.
Colin Pugh: Thank you so much, Jimbo and Matt. How you doing?
Matt MacNaughton: I’m doing great. It is good to be on here with both of you guys.
Colin Pugh: Amen to that.
JimBo Stewart: Colin, tell us just a little bit about yourself real quick.
Colin Pugh: so I’m Colin Pugh. I am a Revivalizer in, the D. C. area, at Clinton Baptist Church, and I also started as a, bivocational pastor. I got a unique story. I was a full [00:01:00] time youth pastor, but a part time senior pastor. And getting paid, by my home church who I was also the youth pastor at
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, that’s, I mean, interestingly enough, that is not the first time I’ve heard of a scenario like that, but there hasn’t been many. and so that is a unique, version of bivocational. Now you’re bivocational working with the replant team. And, in pastoring Clinton Baptist, but talk to us about how you managed, I mean, when you, when you’re trying to pastor at two churches, I mean, the expectations, from both have got to be pretty high.
And so how did you keep yourself? grounded in, in what we would call a pastoral grit, right? Like when it’s hard and not just hard cause of conflict, but hard cause it’s just a lot of work sometimes. how, how do you, how did you stay energized? I mean, you’re one of the more energetic people I’ve ever met.
So your, your, energy reserves are higher than most, but how did you keep your energy high to be able to serve at both churches?
Colin Pugh: I found out early maintaining my [00:02:00] relationship with god was important. that would that spiritual appetite was Was he central at this time? Because at my home church where I was a youth pastor at and had a large youth ministry was responsible for a lot of things. my pastor also wanted the work done for the church, but also had to come over here and be the senior pastor for this church.
So my maintaining my relationship with God and the appetite for a spiritual relationship was very important and key. to this bi vocational, pastorship that I had.
JimBo Stewart: So, what, what were some ways that you maintained, your spiritual appetite, without a whole lot of time to spare?
Colin Pugh: Okay, so, Jude, verses 20 through 21 was my key verses. that was the key. That was the, center of my maintaining of my relationship. in my pastoral, I mean, my bivocational work, it was the crust of everything. It was the nucleus. It was the middle of everything, everything surrounded around that [00:03:00] to uphold me, to keep me and to stir me in a path, that I may be successful in both.
because my relationship was important with God outside of everything.
JimBo Stewart: I think it is key. I mean, I think it’s key to any pastoral role, but, man, you gotta be real careful when you are bi-vocational. ’cause there’s, we’ve talked about before, there really is no such thing as part-time ministry. And, so the expectations are high. And if we’re not careful, we end up doing ministry out of our own strength and, and drawn from our own well, instead of out of the overflow of the our walk with the Lord.
Matt, how, how have you. Maintained an effort to minister out of your overflow.
Matt MacNaughton: So it’s, it was realizing for me, my role as a pastor is not all on my shoulders.
JimBo Stewart: Hmm.
Matt MacNaughton: That learning that Christ loves this church more than I do,
Colin Pugh: Yes.
Matt MacNaughton: and I’m free to shepherd, [00:04:00] throughout the week and making sure I’ve got the time and energy, but just really letting go of the the pressure, the unachievable expectations that I had placed in my own life as a pastor and just saying, Lord, you, you promised to build your church and I’m going to faithfully shepherd the people that you have placed in this church and knowing that if I’m not spending my time with my shepherd, my good shepherd, then I will never be a healthy shepherd to the people of our church.
So there was a lot of just placing my life in the hands of Jesus. And realizing who I am just as a human, a mere human, and not the good shepherd, helps me, helps me pastor, and shepherd them out of just a joyful heart. And even when I’m tired and worn out, I’m looking to Jesus as my [00:05:00]example, and placing my hope in Him.
JimBo Stewart: Here’s a question that I didn’t prepare you guys for but it just occurred to me because I got actually I got I got a Text from a pastor about this today in the midst of the busyness of ministry and even especially sometimes the Difficulties when we’re going through trying seasons. How have you what have you found has worked best for you to serve your wife well, and make sure she stays encouraged and make sure, she has enough gas in her tank, spiritually, emotionally, relationally, as, as you’re working with very little margin of time and, and, and to be honest, sometimes very little margin, emotionally, relationally.
I mean, it’s when, you know, when you’re working bivocationally and you’re, you kind of feel spent and sometimes you end up with not. enough left whenever you get home. And so what have been some things that have been helpful for you to love and serve and support and encourage your wives? Well, in those times.
Colin Pugh: So for me, [00:06:00] um, again, this Jew chapter one, 20 and 21 was very important in everything. Cause, cause I looked at it at maintaining my relationship and here’s some steps it says in 20 and 20, and this is so great Jimbo. And Matt, it says, uh, beloved, build yourself up on the most holy faith. That means I have to be intentional about growing in my relationship with God.
I got to build myself. And that’s the same thing with marriage. I got to be intentional, with having a relationship with God. I mean, with my wife as well as we grow together. So that means if I can only give her. 30 minutes a day, then I’m going to make it the best 30 minutes that she ever had in her life.
And then it says from there, not only to build yourself up and, in your faith, but it say pray in the Holy Spirit. And it tells me that I got to have constant communication with God and with her. We gotta, we gotta constantly communicate and this communication is not [00:07:00] about, marriage duties or marriage work as in bills and children.
It’s about what do you expire? What, what do you like? What, what would you love as a great date or a great vacation? And then it says that keep yourself in the love of God. it’s times where, where things that cause us to, to not love God anymore, because of the difficult times, but we have to do things to keep ourself in love with God and also keep our, keep ourselves in love with our wives.
So how do we do that? We do that by communicating, by praying and also spending quality time with them. So my wife and I, what we said was every first Friday, we’re going to go on a date. And this is different than any other date. This was a planned date that we had together and it’s not talking about the children, ministry, her, her work.
It’s just me and her enjoying ourselves as a couple that we may continue to be successful.
JimBo Stewart: Hmm.
Matt MacNaughton: Yeah, it’s it’s a difficult balance, but it’s, really joyful [00:08:00] when, Julie and I, we it’s just a great relationship. Like we spend a lot of time together because as a, my office is at my house. kids are homeschool. So we see each other a lot, but just because we see each other doesn’t mean we’re navigating those.
It’s not quality time. So, about, two years ago, three years ago, I’m not sure when we began meeting weekly on Sunday nights. Put the kids to bed and we would have a weekly meeting and we would go through everything like what’s on my calendar, what’s on her calendar, anything we need to talk about that we haven’t had a chance to talk about.
Do we have any conflict between us, which has been great because there’s a lot of times where I’ve, something’s happened and I’m like, would I bring this up in the Sunday night meeting? And if I wouldn’t, then I’m like, well, it’s not that big of a, big of a deal. So, navigating just that way throughout the week, there’s no surprises. And then making sure we have time for one another, because there’s, there’s, we’re not in the stage where we can do a [00:09:00] set date night. Every week looks different with little kids and their sports. And I say little, they’re not little anymore, but. managing all of that. So we incorporated that. And then I work really hard to, when I walk out of my office or I’m coming home at the end of the day to leave my time, the rest of the night is with my family as best as I can.
Um, Andy Addis has a great book called rhythms that also helps like, Hey, if I, if I know I have a, an evening event at the church where I’m, I’m with some guys we’ve got discipleship group, our residency. Then I want to maybe go in a little later in the morning, cook breakfast, do pancakes, spend some time, maybe watch a little bit of TV before they even kick off school or help just set the day.
So knowing that I don’t have to give my full day to work that I can with just great flexibility, just plan my day to where I’m [00:10:00] not neglecting my family.
JimBo Stewart: Hmm.
Matt MacNaughton: so being intentional back to what Colin said. Is I’ve got to be intentional and then I have to fight to be intentional because if I’m not fighting Then it’s easy to say, uh next week we can do this or it’s no big deal if I just hey guys Dinner was great.
I’ve got to go back in there and do this project because That project can wait till tomorrow or that thing can wait till tomorrow There’s nothing urgent Enough to has to deal with in the moment. So, and that even means like in the, in the car where it’s so easy to be like, I got, I got some phone calls I can knock out the car, it’s me and the family, we’re chatting, just really protecting that time when we’re together, unless it’s an emergency, a pastoral crisis or whatever the case
JimBo Stewart: Yeah.
Colin Pugh: Yeah, because I believe, I believe too that your marriage is your first ministry. And so we, we have to see that as an important part. and believe that that, is maybe me, but I believe if we fell in our marriage, we fail. [00:11:00] And God gave me his daughter to be her husband. And I’m grateful for that.
And I want our marriage to last. So I had to put her first and I made sure, that my surrounding group know that as well, too, as she’s first
JimBo Stewart: Hmm.
Matt MacNaughton: there, there was, a, and I’ll probably get to it a little bit. Jordan Rainer’s book, redeeming your time talks about, talks about your callings and it helped knowing that my family. And given the amount of responsibility that I have as a pastor, there are things that maybe I want to do that I have to say no to because my family is more important. And some of those things, it’s it, man, this is just a stage of life I am. And it’s not even like Julie, she probably encouraged me to go or do those things, but it’s like I can, and it’s good to get away at times. But when I’m looking at my schedule, I’m going to make sure. I don’t, if I don’t have to do this [00:12:00] thing, then I’m going to be with my family
JimBo Stewart: Hmm.
Matt MacNaughton: as much as I can,
Colin Pugh: Hey Jimbo, if I can throw this in, an older preacher told me, when I came into the revitalization here at Clinton Baptist Church, he said, Pastor Pew, make sure you never have a dortery with another man’s wife. And I’m like, dude, what are you talking about? And he says, a lot of pastors have a dortery with the church and the church is God’s wife.
And I was like, wow.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I think that’s a real temptation. I mean, as men, we tie so much of our identity up in our vocation, our ability to produce, our ability to be good at what we do. And then you add, you know, the weight of pastoral ministry to it, and so it significantly feels, you know, more eternally.
Significant and important. And so it makes it even easier for us to justify like, Oh, this, this is the most important thing about me, about my identity is that I’m [00:13:00] good at what I do. And we can easily end up making the bride of Christ, uh, our mistress. And we care more about serving there than we do. serving at home.
And I love that concept of marriage is our first ministry, practically in order to do that. Well, Matt, you alluded in the last episode, about some, some kind of practical ways to think through, how to share the responsibility of ministry and how to make sure that it’s not, one tied to your own success, like, and, and also not entirely on your shoulders.
Break down some of that again for us a little bit.
Matt MacNaughton: Yeah. So when, when we’re looking at our callings and I’m called to be a husband and a father called the pastor, and then you have to throw in by vocational work in order to support your family, then your time and your resources. almost go out the window. So now you’re balancing everything with church because it, church ministry doesn’t let up, [00:14:00] family ministry doesn’t let up.
And now you’re having to find time to make extra money on the side or, have a part time job. So you’re balancing all of this. So there’s three things to look at as you’re navigating all of it. And really we see examples. Throughout scripture, Moses in the Old Testament and the New Testament, how Paul and the disciples, they never did anything alone.
There was, there was teams, team planting, plurality of elders, all of which shows it’s not on one person. So we’re not able to, bear this responsibility alone. So it’s determining your priorities is, is one thing. If I’m looking at my responsibilities as a pastor, what are the most important things that I need to do in my week?
And obviously that is writing a sermon and shepherding the people. So there are things that if it doesn’t happen, the church is going to be okay. So there was some weeks where [00:15:00] we’d, I just, I’m like, I can’t get to that. It’s okay. If I didn’t post that picture on Facebook, ultimately it’s fine. Or the website was just a little delayed in getting updated.
Those are, those are priorities that need to be dealt with, but it maybe can be postponed just a little bit down the road. And then developing leaders in order, because as your church grows, as you’re shepherding people and responsibilities grow up, you have to develop leaders who can help carry responsibilities throughout your church.
And it’s a long runway. It’s not something you should do overnight and just say, here, Here’s our entire kids ministry. It’s yours because I just don’t have the time to think or capacity to do it. So you have to develop leaders who are one love Jesus are equipped in order to handle those responsibilities and, have some theological grounding as well, because it ultimately falls back on your shoulders too.
If something as the leader, if they. Misstep or something. So you have to develop the [00:16:00]leaders and that there’s a long runway to that. They’re they’re working full time They only have so much time. So usually it’s for us at Grace Life I mean once a month with some guys that we’re raising up to be leaders Some of them are stepping into the roles, but we’re talking about a year to 18 months of hey We just gotta keep going.
This is part of it And giving them responsibility as we go and raising them up and then delegating responsibilities. There’s a lot of things that’s just easy for me to do, but someone else can probably do them better. And probably put more passion into it than I can. And when we delegate wisely responsibilities within our church, it frees us.
To shepherd, to gives us more time for sermon prep and sermon calendar planning and meeting up with church members who need counseling or care, or when you get that last minute phone call of a, of a crisis, you’re not very like, what, how am I going to accomplish everything else? There’s some, [00:17:00] there’s some, margin in your life that you have to build in, but it, it doesn’t happen over time.
It’s a, it’s an intentional effort. In order to get to a point where you can be healthy enough to care for your family, care for your church, and do what’s necessary to accomplish both.
JimBo Stewart: I appreciate you talking about, the importance of developing leaders and not just handing them huge responsibility. You know, it’s what we call delegate and dump, where you just, you just delegate and just dump all the stuff on them and you just walk away. you know, the Bible talks about, zeal without knowledge is, is not a good thing, and that we shouldn’t act hastily in that way.
And so, part of, Part of ministry is developing leaders. And, and so it’s one of those things that you’ve got to do a slow investment on, and then you get the return later. and sometimes you don’t get the return. Sometimes you, you invest the time in people and you know, they leave or they end up not painting out as, as a leader.
[00:18:00] but it’s, it’s always worth the investment. Colin, what has been the role of leadership development, for you in learning and sharing your responsibilities and spreading the influence of the members and the leadership of the members at Clinton Baptist?
Colin Pugh: I first started off with small groups. I think small groups play a great part in development leaders and also knowing your people. so we started off with small groups and in that small groups, I had a chance to see the commitment of people, through the work we started off with survival kit.
and also, uh, black can be book experience in God. We, uh, went through as well and going through, uh, we do it a little different. Um, with our leaders, we do it every Monday for six months and then we break out once a month, for meetings. But that helps me to know how to identify leaders, and a characteristics and things they can bring to the table, things, say strong points.
so when I put them in leadership roles, I basically can know, have [00:19:00] an idea. of their characteristics and things like that. So that has been really helpful to me. and then one on one meetings, um, one on one meetings. I know it’s time consuming, but they are important. So I can really get to know people outside.
So I tried. To least meet, if they in going to be in leadership, least meet, at least once, one on one meetings at a lunch outside the church, once a month and just to get to know them, invite them over and things like that, invite them out to eat. so I can see the characteristics and really have an understanding of who they are.
I know that’s time consuming, but, um, as a pastor, I think we have to spend time. what people valuable time with people as well. but I’m a little more, tetchy filling and other pastors in a perspective. I like relationships. a lot of pastors don’t have time for it and it’s so many other people, but I like relationships and I know how to manage a multitude of relationships at one time.
so I’ve been blessed with [00:20:00] that. But leader, development leaders is the key is important. we would not be where we are today without the development of leaders. it’s impossible. And also too, God had gave me the ability to trust people. although I’ve been burnt a lot, I look at everyone own situation and I trust people.
And I, and I also learned that, okay. They may not do it like I want it or I think it should be done, but it is getting done in a way of excellence according to them. And because they have a desire for it.
Matt MacNaughton: And what’s really cool about it, About the leadership development and you see it, how Paul wrote in his epistles, just a joy in watching people, other people, other brothers and sisters serve the body of Christ
and getting to play a role in their spiritual development and then watching them preach a sermon or lead a small group or take over a ministry.
Yeah, it’s a lot [00:21:00] of. A lot of joy this past week,
we had one of our leaders, send out an email, they just CC me on the email to all their volunteers. And I’m the joy of just watching people use their, their giftings for the good of the church. I mean, that, that’s what it, that’s what it’s about.
And so it’s, it’s a, I mean, yeah, it helps me. With some margin in my own life, but at the same time, this is the whole purpose of the church is to equip the saints to do the work of the
ministry. So it’s,
Colin Pugh: will work at a ministry. Yeah.
Matt MacNaughton: it’s a joy to watch them be used by the Lord and, get to play a small role in that is really, really helps in that pastoral grit of,
Colin Pugh: you also got it.
Matt MacNaughton: No, you go ahead. You finish.
Colin Pugh: You also got to show the appreciation of the small wins too when you develop a leader I mean when you have that social media person that that [00:22:00] remembers his teacher appreciation day and put a post on your social media site We just want to thank all the teachers i’m like wow Like I didn’t even know it was teacher appreciation But thank you and then all the teachers call her like thank you pastor pew for the comment i’m like what Okay, great.
You know, and so I, called the social media team immediately and was like, Hey, I got Panera cars for you.
I got five dollar Panera cars just to say, thank you. You know, I wish I could buy you a whole meal, but I’m just want to say, thank you. it’s a great, great, opportunity to show our appreciation to them as you see them grow.
JimBo Stewart: That’s good. Hey, one of the things we want to do is continue to learn more about how we can serve and support, guys who are out there leading in bivocational ministry. And so you guys have put together a survey. We had it in, the show notes last week. We’ll have it in the show notes again this week.
just tell the listeners a little bit about this survey and why it would be valuable to them [00:23:00] to take the time to fill it out.
Matt MacNaughton: so as I mentioned last week or in the last episode the bivocational ministry is not a one size fits all. So my situation is different than Colin’s situation And that’s the case in a lot of areas and a lot of churches. That’s the the beauty of it. So we have A heart to help bivocational pastors, not just be healthy pastors, but to be healthy husbands, healthy fathers, and to see their churches and their families thrive for the glory of God. So we want to listen and answering that survey helps us, plan for the future and how we can help, bivocational pastors with maybe some just occasional times of prayer and encouragement, uh, cohorts. resources. I know helpful resources for me, but that may be different for you. And we want to hear what those resources are.
Would you be interested in a, blog post every once in a while to help? Hey, [00:24:00] we’re thinking about this from a bivocational viewpoint. How, how, how could we approach this? And so we want to help and we want to listen. And we know that everybody’s situation is unique and we want to do our best to Help you shepherd the people that God’s placed under your care, where you are
JimBo Stewart: Speaking of good resources, for the next episode after this, we will have Andy Addison to talk about his book, Rhythms, that you mentioned, and we will even in the show notes of that episode have a link for a free digital copy of the book for you,
Matt MacNaughton: so good.
JimBo Stewart: so tune in again next week.