Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

Department

Seminary

First Advisor

Debby Thomas, PhD

Second Advisor

Darrell Peregrym, DMin

Third Advisor

Jason Clark, DMin

Abstract

The number of Vineyard bivocational pastors in the US Vineyard church is unknown, and although pastoring bivocationally is common, there is a current lack of resources available to meet their unique challenges. The Association of Vineyard Churches, USA has improved from where it used to be, but they are currently not where they want to be in terms of caring for Vineyard bivocational pastors. This dissertation explores the current bivocational situation in the Association of Vineyard Churches, USA and argues that the Vineyard needs to take better care of Vineyard pastors who work jobs outside their churches. This project shows in detail how the impact that pastors currently have will greatly increase with better care and resources. Chapter One introduces the problem of the lack of care and resources for Vineyard bivocational pastors. A case is made to change the label from “bivocational” to “working priest.” This chapter concludes describing the plethora of reasons why so many Vineyard pastors are working priests. Chapter Two develops a working priest theology. The first section shows the important role that working priests have played throughout the Old and New Testaments and church history. Then there is a discussion of the five common disputes Vineyard working priests face today. The current working priest theology is pragmatic, and, after a brief synopsis of this theology, a more developed theology is put forth. Using the four biblical images of exiles, tentmaker, missionary, and nursing mother, the theology of the working priesthood is moved forward. Chapter Three is a type of literature review. As there are not many scholarly works about working priests, this chapter summarizes the popular and academic xii resources available, and describes how each informs the Vineyard of methods to improve the care and resourcing of Vineyard working priests. Chapter Four describes the unique challenges Vineyard working priests face. This chapter shows that although working priests are a major force in the Vineyard, working priests must overcome difficult hurdles that pastors who do not have a second job do not experience. Chapter Five offers detailed steps the Association of Vineyard Churches, USA could take to better care for and resource working priests in the movement within its current structure. This chapter shows that changes can take place at the area, regional, and national levels that would improve care and consequently increase the impact of working priests. Chapter Six shows how working priests fit into the Vineyard and what the Vineyard could create to care for working priests. Using three documents as an outline, this chapter describes in detail how a newly created working priest website will great help both the Vineyard and her working priests.

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Christianity Commons

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