Survey Results: Observations and Advice for New Priests

We are coming up on graduation day for our seminaries, so I fielded a survey to gather the collective wisdom of priests to share with our new graduates and ordinands. These sets of “five things” are offered with thanks to the priests who answered the survey and prayers for all our clergy.  It's a beautiful and blessed - but often incredibly difficult - life. Five Things that Surprised Us in Parish Ministry Worldly Behavior. Parish Read more…


10 Reasons Bivocational Ministry Matters

By Chuck Lawless “I didn’t come to seminary to be a bivocational minister, to have to get another kind of job,” my student told me. I may not have agreed with my student, but I did understand his thinking. Back then (almost 15 years ago), we weren’t talking much about bivocational ministries. Now, that conversation has shifted. Pastors are beginning to embrace as their primary calling the role of bivocational minister. Some even Read more…


Why Did Paul Make Tents? Part Five

by Ruth Siemens VIII. What Value Has Paul’s Strategy For Us Today? I am convinced that Paul’s strategy for producing missionary lay movements, for exponential growth, holds the solution for world evangelization for the 21st century! I think we cannot fulfill our mandate without Paul. So what can we derive from a study of Paul? 1. It gives us a tested and proven strategy to adapt and implement Paul gives us our only N.T. strategy for Read more…


Why Did Paul Make Tents? Part Four

by Ruth Siemens How Well Did Paul’s Strategy Work? Many of his lay evangelists were from unsavory, uneducated, pagan backgrounds. Most were slaves. None had anthropological or missiological training. It cost Paul dearly to bring them the gospel, and they risked their lives without pay to take it to others. Paul had provided a model of suffering. In ten years (the three journeys took a decade) Paul and his friends (a small team w Read more…


Why Did Paul Make Tents? Part Three

 by Ruth Siemens What Was Paul’s Strategy and How Effective Was It? It would take a longer paper to pull all this together, but I will just suggest a few points in Paul’s strategy. This “apostle to the Gentiles” had received a daunting commission from the risen Christ. He set out to evangelize the Roman empire, but with no source of personnel or money. But the Holy Spirit helped this strategic thinker to devise a plan that would produc Read more…


Why Did Paul Make Tents? Part Two

by Ruth Siemens Why Did Paul Work When He Did Not Have To? We will consider only three of the several reasons he gives. The first two are part of his formal defense in 1 Cor. 9 and the third is in 2 Thess. 3. 1. Credibility Paul says twice that he works in order not to put an “obstacle” in the way of the Gospel, so his message and motivation will not become suspect to the Gentiles. (It was fine for Peter and others to get support bec Read more…


Why did Paul Make Tents? Part One

by Ruth Siemens Orthodox Christianity thrives when both laypeople and clergy are intensely committed to evangelism and mission work, and some of the best work is done by 'tentmakers' - clergy and laity who work in the world to support themselves, but whose purpose in life is building up the Body of Christ. I say 'tentmakers' for clergy also, because although some may refer to a priest as a 'part time priest', I have not yet ever met Read more…