Taos Foursquare Church
When Norbert Garcia’s church hit financial problems in 2010, he forfeited his salary, praying to find income somewhere else. The answer came in an unexpected way—with a position as a computer and IT specialist at the local casino. He wrestled with the rightness of taking the job, but God reminded him of his church’s prayers for ways to reach the reserved Taos Pueblo Indian community that operates the casino. Some employees have begun attending Taos Foursquare Church. God somehow creates the time he needs for ministry, says Norbert, 54. And “He has given me favor”—including bereavement pay when he takes time off to conduct funerals.
Mission Mountain Worship Center (Flathead Foursquare Church)
Saint Ignatius, Mont.
What seemed like a means to an end became a “ministry door” when Corb Morgan, 60, took a job as a paraeducator in Montana’s St. Ignatius School District, helping special needs students. Because the school is the hub of the rural community, working there helped him and his wife, Jan, rapidly build good relationships with parents and children, and bring fresh life to their Foursquare congregation and the people on the Indian reservation. Additionally, the job provides healthcare and much-needed income. Busy bi-vocational leaders need to be sure not to stint on personal time with God and “be good at napping,” Corb advises.
Sycamore Park Foursquare Church
Putting God first, and husband and children second, means that somehow “there’s just enough energy for balance,” says Norma Perez-Morin, 49. She is co-pastor with her husband, Javier, of Sycamore Park Foursquare Church in Los Angeles, where she also directs the Sycamore Park Early Education Center. Additionally, Norma is a broker/owner at real estate company La Casa Bella, Inc. And she is director of recruitment for Orphans Among Us, promoting foster care among churches—a role inspired by her own family’s experience in taking in two needy children. Her own family members are “precious and valuable parts of what God has asked me to steward, nurture and train up unconditionally,” she affirms.
Revolution Church (Nixa Central Foursquare Church)
As a member of the strongman evangelistic ministry, Extreme Power, where he gets to “break things and tell people about Jesus,” Peter Robillard knows that his ability to perform remarkable feats requires focus and commitment. He’s tapping into the same as he plants Revolution Church in Nixa, Mo. Around 50 people are part of the 39-year-old pastor’s storefront congregation. His own Colour Co. commercial painting business helps support the outreach, making for “an impossibly busy schedule.” The father of three acknowledges that “no ministry is sustainable or healthy without the combined effort and support of your family.”
The Oregon Community (Portland North Foursquare Church)
Ryan Saari has to be light on his feet to juggle his pastoral responsibilities with his position as manager of The Village Ballroom. It’s part of a community center that includes a daycare and a pub run by a non-profit agency he established as part of a church plant seeking to demonstrate that “church is not something we do, it’s something we are.” Ryan has no advice on how to avoid dropping any of the different balls. “I am blessed to have an amazing wife and daughter who let me have it when I’m too busy, and bring me back to some sort of balance,” says Ryan, 33.
Living Waters (Medford Foursquare Church)
Tim Stickrod is all about souls—and soles. His sales clerk position in the shoe department of a local Fred Meyer hypermarket supports his role pastoring the Skate Church at Living Waters in Medford, Ore.—where the parking lot doubles as the sanctuary. The 21-year-old newlywed, a Foursquare license applicant, believes “it is important to be out there in the world … it gives you the opportunity to take ownership of your relationship with the Lord in a different way.” Balancing home, work and ministry requires “simplifying my expectations about how things ‘should’ be,” Tim notes. “If you live with freedom, you will live under a banner of peace.”
Jason and Susan Thomas
Senior Pastor/Assisting Minister
Portland Northwest Foursquare Simple Church Network
Though starting a new church is busy enough, Jason and Susan Thomas, both 39, went looking for other jobs, too, when they moved with their three children from Decatur, Ill., to start a Foursquare church in Portland, Ore. “We wanted to model that starting a church doesn’t require a lot of outside financial support,” says Susan, who helps manage a local Starbucks. “More important, we believed that being bi-vocational would generate multiple community relationships that we might otherwise miss if we were solely employed by a church.” Teaching workshops for a local family services agency has helped Jason “realize how out of tune I had become with where real people live.”
Glenn and Margaret Yeager
Hagerstown Foursquare Church
For Glenn Yeager, being a pastor and an engineering manager is simply “all part of my calling and who I am.” That unusual combination sees him commuting the 150 miles between Hagerstown—where he and his wife, Margaret, founded a congregation 10 years ago—and his flex-time job in Bethlehem, Pa. “Living life and doing ministry just go hand in hand,” he says. Parents of eight, the couple puts home before their busy pastoral and professional commitments. “Keeping our marriage healthy” is foundational to work-ministry balance, says Glenn, 48. “Our calling to our families does not become negated when we are called to pastor.”