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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.

Greg Ogden’s book, “Unfinished Business,” has greatly influenced my thinking and ministry through its emphasis that ministry does not only belong to clergy but is also the responsibility of all believers. After making his case, Ogden turns to what needs to happen in churches for this transition to occur, commenting that “denominational life as we […] Read More

I served a small, rural church as a bivocational pastor for 20 years before accepting a judicatory role that works with dozens of smaller churches as well as larger ones. I’ve also written eight books on bivocational ministry and issues affecting smaller churches. I love small churches and have seen first-hand the tremendous ministry they […] Read More

Leaders from three churches shared how God was using them to impact their communities at the regional biennial meeting of American Baptist Churches of Indiana and Kentucky. Two of the churches were smaller. One speaker was a bivocational pastor whose church had 24 people on the first Sunday he preached there. Today, it runs about […] Read More

I receive a phone call from pastors who are concerned about the finances of their churches every few weeks. This concern is often centered on the prospect that they will be asked to become bivocational. Pastors usually have some questions about what that looks like. It’s not uncommon for pastors to state that they really […] Read More

The suicide deaths of Robin Williams and last year that of Rick Warren’s son has triggered quite a discussion in many Christian circles about depression. Some have been highly critical of Christians who suffer from depression, while others have called for greater understanding and more discussion in churches about the illness. I fall in the […] Read More

A story about a seminary-trained pastor who had applied to nearly 100 churches and was unable to find a position as a fully funded pastor was prominent on social media recently. He asked a question that many recent seminary graduates are now asking: Why didn’t someone explain this new reality before he incurred so much […] Read More

Several seminary students contacted me in recent months to discuss bivocational ministry. It’s always exciting to receive these calls because it’s an indicator of a growing recognition of the value bivocational ministry brings to the church. As one caller worked down his list, I realized he was asking a lot of the wrong questions, which […] Read More

The most critical time in the life of a small church is the time they spend between pastors. This is a time that should be spent in reflection as they review their history and look toward the future. It is a time to discern a fresh vision from God regarding their future ministry. The selection […] Read More

Eighty percent of the churches in America are either plateaued or declining. Some put that number even higher. It is estimated that 4,000 to 5,000 churches close their doors each year. The number of churches per capita continues to shrink, meaning our churches are growing at less than the rate of population. Many denominations are […] Read More

I have heard many tales of clergy being horribly treated by members of their congregations and have seen firsthand how poorly some of my clergy friends have been treated in my 20 years of bivocational ministry and 13 years of denominational leadership. I am well aware of the unfairness that sometimes goes along with serving […] Read More