Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: In this teaching I’m going to give you 10 key principles of bi-vocational time management. These principles will help you make it through what might otherwise seem like an overwhelming situation.

In this teaching I’m going to give you 10 key principles of bi-vocational time management. These principles will help you make it through what might otherwise seem like an overwhelming situation.

When I started ministry I graduated from a place called Eugene Bible College in Oregon, and I was on staff at Roy Hicks Jr’s church as a youth pastor, teaching pastor and worship leader. However, seven years before I went on staff at Roy’s, I was with Youth For Christ and had to raise all of my own support. After being on staff with Roy, I then moved to Hawaii and had to raise my support all over again. All they could afford to do was give me a housing allowance, that’s it.

In ’95 I went over to Honolulu, 250 miles north, to plant New Hope Oahu. We had already planted ten churches when the Lord said, “Plant one more.” So I thought, “No problem. I’ll just build some leaders.” He said, “Close but no cigar. You go back to the dirt and you plant again.” The church had grown to two thousand people. We had just finished construction of our church building on the twenty acres of land we’d purchased, and the Lord said, “Start all over again.” It took me a year to wrestle with that, but finally I said, “Okay.”

My wife and I, together with our family, went to Honolulu and started all over again. For the first year we took no salary. I had to work and raise support until the church took off. So I understand raising support. I understand working part time. I’ve been there. It was only eight years ago that I finally went fulltime.

Being bi-vocational while in ministry is no problem, as long as you understand certain principles. These principles that I’m going to cover will fall under the following three categories: home work, hard work and heart work.

Time management in bi-vocational ministry will require work if you want to succeed. It will require home work. It will require hard work. And it will require heart work.


Under the topic of home work there are five principles I’m going to give you. Now you could say, “I’d rather have corporate principles.” Corporate principles are fine, but in ministry things have to start much deeper.


You’ve got to make sure you put in the big rocks first. Now you ask, “What does that mean?” Probably many of you know the illustration of the physics teacher who gave his students five big rocks, a wide-mouth mason jar and a container of sand. He said, “You’ve got fifteen seconds to put all of the rocks and sand in the jar. Go!” They poured the sand in and started stuffing the rocks in, fourteen seconds, fifteen seconds.

“Times up.”

“We’ve got three rocks left.”

“Times up.”

“Can’t do it. It’s impossible. We’ll break the glass.”

“No, it can’t all fit.”

“Yes it can.”

“No it can’t.”

“Show us.”

He took the rocks out and poured out the sand out and he said, “Always remember students, you must put the big rocks in first.” He put the five rocks in and then he poured some sand in and shook the jar. Then he poured some more sand in and it cascaded around the rocks and filled in all the holes and all the spaces. Finally he put the last few granules in and shook it again until it leveled out at the top. He then put the cap on and said, “It fits. It will always fit if you put the big rocks in first.”

In bi-vocational time management we have a tendency to get caught up with the sand of life, and if we do, nothing will fit. I use an acrostic P.E.P.R.D. (a misspelling of how you season your food) – but nevertheless it helps me to remember my five big rocks. You need to decide for yourself what your big rocks are. These are mine:






If I do nothing else during the day, other than getting my five big rocks done, I’m a happy camper. If I do everything else in a day but I don’t get these done, I’m foolish and I’m squandering time. Remember we all have the same amount of time every day and we must utilize it well.

PRAYER – I have a habit now, when I get out of bed as I did this morning, I don’t touch the floor with my feet; I slide to my knees. So the first thing that touches the earth after I get up every morning is my knees because I have to remember, Jesus didn’t have to wake me up this morning, but He did. That means my assignment on this earth isn’t done yet and there’s a reason that I’m here today. So I slide to my knees and I say, “Thank you Lord for another day wherein I get to serve you and love you with all my heart, my soul, my mind and my strength. Thank you that you gave me this day and help me to start serving you today, like I’ve never served you before. Help me to really start serving you today.”

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Stephen Funderburk

commented on Apr 30, 2008

thanks for sharing your heart and vision for time management in bi-vocational ministry. I know your church is blessed with this type of leadership

Daniel Whitworth

commented on Dec 17, 2008

Tremendous! The nitty-gritty of handling time wisely & godly when there''s so much to do. Intensely practical.

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