Skip to main content
Blog Post

Leadership Development & Bivocational Pastors

By November 1, 2023No Comments

November 2023

Rev. Kenneth Young, Associate Director


“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

— Theodore Roosevelt


Roosevelt’s thought about life and leadership resembles many leaders in the country. Bivocational pastors may feel that the quote sings to their hearts. New England is known for education, history, and sciences but not so much for active churches. How do the churches in New England respond is vital to the institution of the church? “The least religious states are Massachusetts and New Hampshire, both of which have only 33% of adults identifying themselves as “highly religious.”[1] The statistics are scary for the future of the church. The numbers could attest that there is a shift happened. People are currently shifting from the church, and the leadership must shift to comprehend the culture it serves. According to a newsletter written to the Association of Theological Schools, “30 percent of graduating seminarians anticipate entering into bivocational ministry.”[2]


A cohort of bi-vocational clergy started a journey together to learn and grow as they continue to serve the marketplace and church. The Lydia Fellows are excited to take on challenging aspects of ministry and make meaning of the signs of the time. The monthly sessions have proven to spark conversations and ideas on how to improve and grow as a bi-vocational clergyperson. The monthly themes vary from “controlling your calendar, church finances, and leadership models.” Rev. Douglas Stivison, the pastor of First Congregational Church at Lunds Corner, New Bedford, Massachusetts, said, “The leadership models were the most impactful conversation thus far.” Rev. Stivison also serves as a chaplain and gives a needed perspective for bi-vocational pastors who serve in the local church setting and the greater community. These conversations will hopefully help to produce growth and confidence as Lydia Fellows impact communities with their ministry.


[2] Packard Brown, Bivocational ministry on the rise, In Trust Magazine, Spring 2018,