AS1-945SM – Are Bivocational Clergy Becoming a New Norm?


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contributed by ACS/JR, member SSSR – ref. vocational practices of ‘clergy’ 

Republished by Inigo auto-da-fé (SJ), and member of JSTOR.  Republished in regard to many questions about full-time intercessory prayer as a full-time vocation, and as calling in the Holy Spirit, known and practiced throughout history.

Compare below on how full-time intercessory prayer is interwoven into this subject matter.

We don’t want to violate copyrights.  I (ACS/JR) no longer email requests as I did in 2012-2019 to Ref: 1436F92C-1EAB-4914-97AE-5149526A3B79. 

See the new end-note annotations that apply this study to our work, here – May 28, 2021.


Transitions in the American religious landscape including religious nonaffiliation, congregational and seminary enrollment declines, and the proliferation of megachurches have reshaped the clergy labor market and increased the precariousness of this type of work. One potential indication of this growing instability is the supposedly increasing number of bivocational clergy who depend on a second job to supplement their income. There are few reliable data, however, that can trace out national-level trends of bivocational clergy. Using the Current Population Survey, this study tests whether there has been any proportional increase in bivocational clergy and to what extent such an increase has been localized to certain groups. We find that the percentage of clergy who report having a second job has not increased since 1996. However, clergy who are female, unmarried, or working in the American northeast are increasingly likely to report working a second job. These trends suggest that clergy who receive  occupational advantages—due to gender or marital status—or who live in highly religious/low cost-of-living regions of the country may be protected from taking on a second job whereas those clergy without these advantages increasingly must depend on additional sources of income. 

Keywords: clergy, vocation, gender, occupation

Our Annotations (not parts of the study above)

The units of measurement in the scalars above may not be consistent with the metrics published by George Barna, in his measures for discerning full-time, 100% sold-out commitments, or ‘Revolution-commitments’ in his book, “Revolution,” in contrast to what Barna identifies/measures in lukewarm, half-commitments, and with Barna attracting occasional ire from big church pastors.

Barna contrasts revolution commitments as sold-out and full commitments as against lukewarm, easy, safe, commitments of people of faith either as church members in box-churches, or outside of them, all across the U.S.

This newer SSSR study above targets ordained clergy.  It explores factors (factor analyses, defined or proposed?) for the perceived necessity of bi-vocational sources of income.  The focus is fair and important.

I (ACS/JR) am studying whether the study above might be cross-correlated to full-time work already being done by students here in their full-time so-called secular work, but who are seeking the Holy Spirit (Acts 2) to infuse and own their daily practices?

For example. even if we stick with valid short and simple (clean) heuristics alone, and without formal statistics, then what differences really exist between bi-vocational ordained clergy in the study above, and the full-time students and mentors here, doing full-time work in so-called ‘secular’ skilled vocations, trades, and professions, when we conform to the Holy Spirit poured out on us (Acts chapters, 1, 2, and whole book of Acts)?

Are such short and simple decision-making steps (heuristics) really any more complicated than the learned steps in fishing used by ordinary fishermen, like Peter?

What side of the boat produced Peter’s best catch?

This is a trick question – be careful.

Since Barna’s metrics focus on degrees of sold-outness and degrees of commitment unto revolution, contrasted against degrees of lukewarmness in church-member covenants for mediocrity (let-the-pastor-do-it … we already pay him … and we pay him enough, that he does not need to be bi-vocational .. that is what we pay him for … so let the pastor do it“) —  praise-loving pastors, according to previous SSSR, Hartford, ATS (and other funded studies to be published in the future on pastoral bankruptcies) — some praise-loving pastors fall for this line of pastor-elevated reasoning — “I am up here … you are down there below … we call this ‘the priesthood of all believers’ … with me above … and all other believers, namely, you-all down below me” — and no, I am not practicing Voltaire satire because these satires and parodies are already embedded in the fact-based statistics.

On my end, I  take the formal metrics necessary for hard-studies, for case-studies for work that we do outside of box-churches, the kind of statistics (beyond valid snap-judgment heuristics), and the measures that we need for rigorous studies of service in the work-a-day fields of life, the practical measures of boots on the ground effectiveness, on the streets, in private homes, in businesses, that today we are doing in contemporary underground railroad services of all kinds –  I take the necessary measures (statistics) required to measure works of good-faith in the world, to require formal statistics that are non-parametric.


Very expensive.

Our unjustified hostility against statistical studies today is based on ignorance of the “Book of Numbers.”  This book was ‘purposed’ for the purpose of going to war.  It was a war census.  And now the condition because – an extremely lesser percentage of the total number of those actually numbered in the “Book of Numbers” actually showed up for war, and actually went to warthe greater percentage wandered 40 years — with their names written in the Book!  Even more expensive! – 40 years wandering, a lifetime.

An ultimate expense.

We are automatically now dealing with – statistics.  Partial knowledge.  We are not omniscient.  Welcome to the use of statistics.  God was not fooled.  God numbers.

Our hostilities against statistical studies, and what cautionary or encouraging tales that statistics may tell us, our hostility against such hard-studies shows another ‘measure’ – of our wandering.   Today.

To answer the trick question above.  The question is not “on what side of the boat” (a parametric) – but in what mode – was Peter’s best catch of fish?

St. Peter’s boat and Boat is a parameter.  Begging pardon for my double meaning regarding St. Peter’s boat-Boat, in begged pardons from my Catholic brothers and sisters, but I was taught by one of the beloved-best to tease this in history (not in clinical stats), namely, Jeffrey Burton Russell,  see, “History of Medieval Christianity: Prophecy & Order,” (1968, 1986, 2000), on these tensions in history.

The question about Peter’s boat and Boat sets a false parameter.

It’s a parametric question – and the misleading answer can be measured parametrically.

No harm in trying.  Maybe returning some useful results.   For those who like this sort of question.  We need such question-askers all around.

For Peter’s biggest catch – it’s not about the side of the boat or Boat, but about the mode of action – the mode of Peter’s action was non-parametric.

Expensive.  Very expensive.  See the lifetime expensive costs of wandering in the wilderness – with our names written in the books – wandering for 40 years, above.  At least in his catch in this case, St. Peter – obeyed.

His mode was obedience.

Hate to say.  Rejoice to say.  And this part of the comment is no Voltaire parody.  And even if it were, I know Catholics who love Voltaire.   Some come out and — confess — it!   Confess, you Cretans.

Or is this a Voltaire parody and satire?

Consider.  Reverend Thomas Bayes, an ordained Presbyterian minister, never published and only kept quiet his most famous statistical revelation, and a revolution for statistics too, “Bayes’ theorem.”  It has use for studying all kinds of things – in the commons of the world.  Not just for studying religion.  These measures are valuable for practical care in “false positives,” and “false negatives,” in clinical measurements – of all kinds. We today are dependent on Bayes and his devotional statistics, for much of what we do – when we really ‘care.’  Some who loved Thomas Bayes found his stashed-away notes, after his death.   Never published.  Private devotions?

Private devotions?  I know a few statisticians, and gifted, God-called businessmen and women too, who muster forward statistics showing (‘tending to show’) that mathematicians among all natural scientists have the highest percentages of belief in God.

Was Bayes in private devotion? – when he scribbled his statistical revelations?

What about Kekule (more about Kekule, later)?

Now with St. Peter, to ‘catch’ the serious question — do we really know what counts as private devotions before God, to a statistician? – to a fisherman-in-the-fishing-business, using a short-and-simple obedience (heuristic of obedience) and experiencing a full catch of Success and Prosperity?

Fool that I am, I’ve wondered what the Bayesian probability was that Bayes’ private notes would be found after his death?

Just found?

Then, published?

To Bless the entire clinical, scientific, and the business-public world?

Before a knee-jerk answer saying how easy it might have been for the bi-vocational fisherman, Peter (back to the theme of bi-vocational clergy) to catch Peter’s biggest catch of fish – before a knee-jerk answer,  “oh!, that was not expensive for Peter – Peter’s biggest catch was easy!” – I confess in my public confessional here, I too want easy for me – and now! — but, before answering.

By what was Peter, Caught?

Consider the Cost.


submitted by ACS/JR, SSSR member – updated May 28, 2021
© revised, Inigo auto-da-fé (SJ), JSTOR member, republish June 22, 2021

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4 thoughts on “AS1-945SM – Are Bivocational Clergy Becoming a New Norm?”

  1. Yes, CEDEFOP is reporting STEM jobs in France are under applied. We had this nationwide in 1960. We have it again in specific vocations.

    I manage in manufacturing. Some of us gather and pray for more workers who love this work.

    Without love for this work, if it is for money only, then details of STEM work are too rigorous, and we have a management le cauchemar.

    We have our private ways over a long time to make STEM become prayer.

  2. I am waiting in line for an opening for full time training.

    I have worked as a nurse for five years and I long to integrate more prayer and love into my work.

    Our local church in Atlanta has over 1,000 members and the church is 100% preoccupied with ‘services’ 6 days a week. Sunday worship, separate prayer groups for men and women on Tuesday, an extra bible teaching for everyone on Wednesday, group prayer on Thursday, and a service for ‘praise’ on Friday night, and praise means music and songs, and extremely few testimonies about what God is doing during the week.

    I get dozens more actual testimonies, and real praise reports, and more deep prayers, and chances to serve in the background right here as a passive observer and waiting in line for an opening for training.

    Our pastor is gregarious, and he almost demands loyalty tests for ‘real believers’ to show up at all the meetings. We are not ‘supporting’ the church if we do not show up to the meetings.

    The big guilt trip is, we will miss the ‘Big Revival!,’ if we do not come to the church meetings.

    The church is offering nothing like what I am getting here just waiting in the background. There is no time to show up for all the regular church meetings and then still do the training here, even as a watcher and observer like me.

    The church meetings have good in them. At the same time, all of the meetings are at lower levels like milk compared to the missions and prayers we are doing outside in the public. Even as an observer in the background, I see amazing things.

    I got more out of the Full Gospel Fellowship. At least many of those men and women are mentoring others full time.

    How many churches are doing this level of training?

    I think the answer is “yes” to the question in the main post, that the full time students in the training, they are clergy working full time.

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