RICHFIELD, Pa. (BP) -- Pusey Losch begins his day in God's Word. Like many men who make a living with their hands, he seeks spiritual preparation for the mental and physical challenges his workday presents.
Losch is a painting contractor -- owner/operator -- starting his business 32 years ago after seeing an opportunity while laboring as a carpenter in rural Pennsylvania.
"I started building houses to make a living," said Losch. "I did that until I figured out I could make a better living with a bucket of paint than a stack of 2X4s."
While some working men eschew Facebook, Losch checks it regularly. He isn't worried about his status -- he's checking on his flock.
Losch is one of the many bivocational pastors serving congregations across the Southern Baptist and Canadian National Baptist conventions. According to data reported in the Annual Church Profile, some 8,000 pastors and associate pastors report being bivocational. Even more bivocational ministers serve as student pastors, worship leaders and in other roles. Losch joins men like adjunct professor Martinez "Tez" Andrews and engineer Carlos Soca who work more than 40-hour weeks at their day jobs, give spiritual leadership to their churches and remain engaged in the lives of their families.
A new phrase -- Iron Men of the SBC -- coined by Tim Dowdy describes these men. The thought came to the senior pastor after attending a triathlon. He serves as pastor of Eagle's Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough, Ga.
"A couple of days later I was in a meeting at NAMB discussing bivocational pastors," said Dowdy, immediate past chairman of the North American Mission Board's trustees. "Then it hit me. I thought, 'Most of them don't swim, bike and run, but they are the Iron Men of the SBC.' They hold down full-time jobs, pastor churches and take care of their families." Read More