Portrait of a bi-vocational ministry leader

Today’s blog entry is by Jeff Logsdon, who is currently transitioning from pastor at The Flipside in Rancho Cucamonga, California to bi-vocational ministry leader in Tucson, Arizona.

Another pastor who left his previous employment at Google in order to work for the church once told me, “If you’re transitioning, you need a long runway. It took me three years to transition.” That’s been true in my reverse experience as well: leaving a job working for a church to do bi-vocational ministry.

When I sensed God calling me to Arizona, the way was far from clear and I wasn’t sure what the end result would look like. With the blessing of my lead pastor, we picked out ten churches in the Tucson area that seemed like they might align well with what I felt God was calling me to do. With the help of my coach, Bob Logan, I went in to this with a mind open to simply exploring what God was doing in Arizona.

After arriving in Arizona to meet with these churches, I met with with the lead pastor at a church where I sensed the most connection. This pastor called me back an hour or so after our initial conversation to tell me that they had been praying for someone with my exact qualifications. In their long-term plan, they wanted someone to help with starting missional communities and eventually serve as a campus pastor for a new location they wanted to start. However, they did not have a job to offer me. It was a volunteer role, with no promise of a paid position.

The leaders at the church in Arizona had a peace about me coming there to be grafted into their community. The leaders at my church back in California had peace about God calling me to Arizona. My wife and I, along with our three children, had peace about the transition. There was just one thing missing. We had no salary.

A few months before all of this, a friend suggested that I work alongside him learning financial planning and the insurance business. I got licensed and began getting some experience. Little did I know how God would use this business to make the transition into a voluntary ministry position after being one of the founding pastors of a church plant for the past fifteen years. It’s been incredible to see God take me outside the walls of the church and into the “streets.” I get to do ministry at the kitchen table talking with families about something central to their household. Apart from spiritual matters, money is the second most challenging  topic for most people to talk about.

We move to Arizona later this month with the plan to open our own office while serving the church in a part-time volunteer capacity. What we have done is to do some temporary fundraising to bridge us into the place where we can be financially self-sufficient, bi-vocational missionaries. As our business as financial advisors grows, we’ll lean more and more on that for our income.

The temporary fundraising is a great Kingdom investment– it’s essentially seed money to plant a self-sustaining missionary in Arizona. One family that is between churches right now has told me that they will be giving their tithe to us until they find a new church home. It’s a short-term investment for a long-term ministry. Now that’s strategic.

You may follow our journey on Facebook at: LogsdonTucsonRev

If you would like to make a contribution: Community Baptist Church 9090 19th Street Rancho Cucamonga CA 91701 (write on the memo line: “TucsonRev”)