Vocation as Mission: The Entrepreneurial Minister

This is the final installment of this 4 Part Series on Vocation and Mission. Today, we look at the Vocational Missional Approach.

We have examined more traditional approaches to church leadership. First, we discussed the bivocational model, or BiVo. Next we highlighted the vocational model (full-time) or VoMin. These are the two primary categories of leading a church, and they can look different depending on a variety of circumstances. They sometimes overlap and intermingle. Some leaders go back and forth between these approaches.

I want to introduce a third option. This approach has actually been around, and it may be called other names in other circles, but it may not have been seriously considered an option to proactively pursue. Some practice it out of necessity at this point, although some are making it their main model. Others have stumbled into amazing ministry by entering a new vocation or starting a business with this approach. So, I’m not claiming to be introducing something new and novel; I just want to share it as a possible approach that God may lead people to pursue.

For purposes of this discussion, I call it the Vocational Missional approach, or VoMiss. In this model, the person seeks to either enter the workforce, or a particular occupation, or start a business with the goal of being actively on mission with God in that arena. Their goal is to seed the gospel in the normal course of business. Some wind up seeing churches planted out of what they’re doing. They may find themselves leading a kingdom movement where lives are transformed just by going to work. What!?

Imagine what would it be like if you could turn your skills, your hobby, or passion into a way to make a living and at the same time see lives transformed by the gospel. Yes, it can be done! Maybe your call to ministry is not best expressed in leading an established church, or teaching a group of people on a weekly basis. But you know how to do something that others can benefit from. You have a skill that people are looking for.

Rather than trying to draw the picture with words, click on the following links to get just a sample of those who have taken the VoMiss approach and seen lives changed by the good news of Jesus. It’s not an easy or clear path most of the time, but it is packed with incredible kingdom potential. This approach, I feel, will become more of a standard as our culture grows in its intolerance of traditional Christian ministry.

Joe’s Addiction
A coffeehouse in Oklahoma City reaching people in the margins

Sunshine Nuts
A cashew business in Mozambique caring for orphans

Josh’s Story
How Josh Boyton helps people develop their business as a reflection of their identity in Jesus and as a means of sharing the gospel