Identifying the Different Streams Within the BIVO/COVO Conversation


Maybe it’s because I’m more attentive to it now, but I’ve seen a continual uptick in the whole bivocational / covocational conversation. It’s coming from all kinds of perspectives, frameworks, denominations, organizations, and networks. This is healthy and good.

At the same time we also know the whole concept is nothing new at all. Maybe it’s getting more attention today in the US as we continue along the lines of being a post-everything society with churches closing up shop daily. As a result, with limited funding and greater needs we simply don’t have the luxury nor the finances to engage in church planting even how we did a decade ago. This is a healthy course correction. Even this morning I had coffee with a denominational leader who pointed out that 32% of their pastors across the nation are bivocational (with that number rapidly growing).

There are multiple streams within this BIVO / COVO conversation. Not only that, but all are complimentary in nature. So where does Intrepid fit in?

Right now the two major streams in this conversation are: (a) bivocational / covocational pastors or church planters (i.e. working a side or full-time job) or (b) starting a business (or social enterprise) or non-profit. When it comes to training or coaching there is an enormous difference between the two. For those in the former camp it means uncovering a theology of work and thinking through how to tie their work into ministry (and the other way around). For those in the latter camp it means learning how to go from concept or idea of a startup to launch. This 2nd camp is where Intrepid fits in.

While both camps are really about bivocational / covocational ministry the how is different. Many pastors and church planters work jobs while they minister and plant. Some are teachers or engineers or sell insurance or are real estate agents and the list goes on. Our focus for Intrepid is to help you start a business or non-profit as your entry point into bivocational / covocational ministry. At the same time we want to help you start something that is part of your church planting or ministry strategy more than simply making money (which there is absolutely nothing wrong with). Also, let’s stop assuming “startup” always equals tech companies … it could and does, but we also want to see a lot of other businesses and non-profits started up … like an auto shop, a recycling company, a window cleaning company, and so much more.

This is certainly an exciting time to be part of this conversation. What’s even better are all of the voices out there pulling in the same direction. If you’d like to learn more about our Intrepid cohort click HERE.