At 2016’s North American CMConference in Louisville, CMConference Executive Director Michael Chanley said that bivocational ministry isn’t a “stepping stone” to “true ministry”; bivocational ministry IS true ministry, just like all ministry is true ministry.
A perfect example of this is Wayne Stocks, of Pataskala, OH, a full-time accountant by trade who still has devoted countless hours for decades working with kids in children’s ministry and divorce support groups. He is the Executive Director of Hope 4 Hurting Kids and I Am A Child of Divorce.
Wayne’s heart in children’s ministry lies in working with hurting kids who may have experienced a trauma or whose situation in life who has put them in a position where they are hurt and often feel hopeless. Hope 4 Hurting Kids helps them to deal with the overwhelming emotions they are facing as well as some of the potential negative outcomes they face like cutting, suicide, substance abuse and more.
When Wayne thinks of the word “underdog” in relation to children’s ministry, he thinks of the kids who aren’t growing up in a traditional family, kids suffering in silence because they are afraid or ashamed, kids who don’t know that there are people out there who want to help, that there is good in the world and that there is hope.
“They are the underdogs to me,” Stocks says. “It’s hard for me to think of myself as an underdog. I come from, and have, a great family. I have a loving Heavenly Father who equips me for everything. I live in one of the wealthiest nations on earth where opportunity and freedoms abound. I guess the only thing that sometimes leaves me feeling like an underdog is a lack of time. As someone who works in ministering to children but also has a (more than) full time job, I like many others in children’s ministry find myself wishing I could spend more time and more energy dedicated to my passion for ministering to kids.”
Stocks has some wise advice for those who feel like underdogs in their own ministries for the time crunch or any other reason. “I believe in ministry and in life, the one attribute that any underdog needs is persistence. Fight the good fight and hang in there. Victory comes not in the individual battles that we fight but in maintaining our passion and our integrity throughout our journey. Though we may feel like an underdog, we serve a Heavenly Father who is greater than any power and any adversity we might face. Measure your success by His terms and not worldly terms. Set your sights firmly on him, and He will do great things through you.”