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Author Dennis Bickers

Dennis Bickers is a church consultant and author. He served previously as the bivocational pastor of Hebron Baptist Church near Madison, Indiana, for 20 years followed by a 14-year ministry as a resource minister with the American Baptist Churches of Indiana and Kentucky.

Leaders, including pastors, are responsible for growing other leaders. For smaller church pastors, it is essential to grow leaders because many smaller churches struggle to find pastors today. More than once, while working with the pastor search committee of a smaller church, I’ve asked them if there was anyone in their congregation who might be […] Read More

I finished reading “Decision Points” by George W. Bush recently. It was an interesting look at his eight-year presidency through his own eyes. He didn’t attempt to cover all the events that occurred during this time in office, but he wanted to show the thinking that went behind the decisions he made. He admitted some […] Read More

Several years ago when I was still a pastor, my father ran for a local political office. One day the call came that I was dreading. He wanted to put one of his campaign signs in my yard. I refused to let him do that. I explained that although I encouraged our congregation to be […] Read More

Some people like to look back at this time of the year and note all the things they accomplished in the previous year. If they stayed busy and had some measure of success, the year is considered successful. I think it’s better to measure our activity by how well it enabled us to achieve our […] Read More

Bivocational ministry has made great strides in recent years. While there are exceptions, there is much greater acceptance of bivocational ministry and a greater appreciation of what these ministers are capable of doing. There have been several doctoral theses written on bivocational ministry since I wrote mine in 2010, and all of them I have […] Read More

Most articles I read about bivocational ministry focus on the challenges often found in this approach to local church ministry. Having served as a bivocational pastor for 20 years and working with many bivocational churches for an additional 15 years as a judicatory leader, I am well aware of the many challenges. However, I have […] Read More

Finances have long been a source of conflict in many clergy homes. Few people go into the ministry with the thought of becoming wealthy, but many are not prepared for the reality of what churches provide in the way of salary and benefit packages. Often, it is not enough to provide financially for the family […] Read More

Going into ministry used to be considered a life-long calling, but we see increasing numbers of people leaving the ministry well before retirement. Recent seminary graduates will leave the ministry within five years after graduation, on average. There are many reasons for these trends, but rather than discuss these I would suggest that we consider […] Read More

What are some of the advantages of a rural church? This question was posed to me in a recent interview with a writer putting together an article about rural congregations. After responding that while some rural churches are large, many of them are smaller, I told him that I would give him the advantages of […] Read More

Smaller churches often complain about not having any money. At times, however, the problem is that they have too much money. One small church that averages about 12 people each week told me they had more than $100,000 in savings. An even smaller church has nearly double that amount. A third small church was struggling […] Read More