When we asked ministers on Facebook what jobs they have held while working bivocationally, we received dozens of responses. Several reported having worked as substitute teachers, school bus drivers, or baristas (the most common response). But there also were some more unusual responses.
While working as associate/youth pastor at a small church, Bud Locke, pastor of Stockton (California) Covenant Church, helped package nuclear waste to prepare for shipment from a research facility.
Gregory DuBois, pastor of First Covenant Church in Cadillac, Michigan, used to make rural deliveries as a postal worker. Now, he is driving his small town’s bus, which he said, “works more like a taxi, serves many disabled people and includes a wheelchair lift.”
Corrie Gustafson, pastor at Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto, California, contracted as a data collector for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mike Bingeman, who works at the Evangelical Covenant Church in Ceresco, Nebraska, serves as a chaplain and also is a cheesemonger for an organic dairy farm.
Randall Friesen, pastor at Malmo Mission Covenant Church in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, ran the electrical, plumbing, and painting department in a store. “The local Amish knew I was a Mennonite pastor and would come seeking my assistance in the small-town store,” he said, joking, “There were none of the electrical appliance returns the regular locals had.”
Ryan Cooper, pastor at Evangelical Covenant Church in South Bend, Indiana, worked at a pet store as well as a manager and corporate trainer for a global hotel company.
Reid Olson, pastor at Crossroads Covenant Church in Greeley, Colorado, twists balloon figures for Chili’s restaurants on Friday nights “for fun and for evangelism.”
Whitney Hall, pastor at Emmanuel Covenant Church in Lowell, Massachusetts, teaches adult GED classes.