December 2018

Ten Questions: Rev. Bill Sawyer

In 2016, Rev. Bill Sawyer was selected as Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the Global Ministry Center, Church of the Nazarene (Lenexa, Kansas). Bill has an extensive background both as a pastor and as an executive in the corporate world. Before coming to the GMC, Bill served as vice-president for financial services at TransUnion while also serving as senior pastor of Santa Ana (California) Church of the Nazarene. HT sat down with Bill for 10 Questions.


Q1: How did your work in the corporate world influence your work as a pastor?

Pastors in the Marketplace

"Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. But I have not used any of these rights. . ." 1 Corinthians 9:13-15a.

Book Review: Dennis Bickers, The Art and Practice of Bivocational Ministry: A Pastor’s Guide

The writing is on the wall, and many great leaders have read the writing word for word. They each have made their analyses, which appear to be consistent across denominational lines. There is a seismic shift happening in ministry across denominations, and it's projected to continue for the foreseeable future.

Ministering to Business People in Your Congregation

I’ve been serving alongside business professionals in congregations for over 20 years. During that time, I have come to some conclusions, more accurately labeled “relevant insights,” regarding how to engage and empower business professionals in the congregations that I have led and served. 

Balancing the Business of Church

Is there a way for our church to be more creative and effective in reaching the community? Is there a way we can supplement our church’s income in the process? Questions like these motivate many churches to depart from traditional church models and to experiment with innovative techniques for ministry. While this kind of creative entrepreneurial spirit is commendable, it must also be balanced with an understanding of potential pitfalls that can occur when a church ventures into the marketplace.

Tax Issues

Finding Balance in Bivocational Ministry

Perhaps you are currently serving a local congregation as a bivocational pastor or multi-vocational pastor (as I once did), and you are reading this with all kinds of thoughts and feelings swirling through your heart and mind. Words like “success,” “stress,” “no margin,” and “never good enough,” which run into first cousins like “shame” and “church growth,” appear on the drop-down screen of your mind. Maybe as bivocational pastor, you’re reading this with guilt about the present state of expected results, whether those expectations are from internal or external pressures (or both). 

Our Calling in the Workplace

As a sending church, our theological identity as Nazarenes is lived out in tangible expressions. A theology that never moves beyond abstract ideas into real-world living is a theology that merely becomes a mental exercise. We might agree with the notion that God cares about what we do and yet find ourselves struggling to discover how our daily work has meaning in the Kingdom of God.

Many people feel discouraged and perplexed about how to find God’s will for their lives.

Beyond Toil: Recovering Work as Gift

I do not like work, even when someone else does it.”—Mark Twain, “Lost Napoleon” (published 1924)

Few people would disagree with Twain’s quote. The predominant sentiment about work is well captured in Twain’s statement: work is a burden and a chore, a necessity for survival. In rare cases, work is enjoyable and life-giving, but that seems to be the exception reserved for a fortunate few. Work is not to be enjoyed; it is to be endured!

Witnessing at Work

Most workers in North America have a great deal of legal freedom when it comes to sharing our faith. In fact, many countries have statements on religious freedom that can protect workers in regard to sharing their faith. Federal workers in the United States, for instance, are protected by the Guidelines on Religious Exercise and Religious Expression in the Federal Workplace released by the White House in August 1997 and updated in a document issued by the Attorney General of the United States in 2017. Most U.S.

Bearing Witness One Burger at a Time

HT: Steve, your restaurant has a bold mission statement that combines business and ministry. Would you share that with us?

SV: Steve’s Classic Burgers is a faith-based food ministry and restaurant that seeks to serve the community and touch lives for the Kingdom of God. Though we are a “for profit” restaurant, our guiding Scripture is from Matthew 25:35: “I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink, I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.”