Sunday, May 19, 2019

Bobby's Future in Ministry


Since we shared the news that Bobby Smith is now working with Kelton Balka in Kelton's uncle's plumbing business, readers have asked if Bobby plans to continue in ministry, as his degree from Pensacola Christian College was in Bible and youth ministry, and he worked at a church near Nashville before he and Tori returned to East Tennessee this spring. In response to fans' questions, here is a direct quote from Kelly Bates:

It’s ironic how similar their [Tori and Bobby's] paths are to the one God led Gil and I on. Gil started as a youth pastor when we first got married. After the first year and a half or so, he resigned and worked a secular job for quite sometime. He never stopped being highly involved in church ministry all the while, but God really used that time to prepare us and grow us. Now Gil is a full time pastor (doing tree work on the side to provide for the family). God grew us a lot during the whole transitioning, but ministry was always part of Gil’s whole life, no matter if he was selling Nabisco cookies or working on a tree. I think he preached more sermons in those settings than he does now lol! So I’m sure God will use this time to prepare Bobby for whatever his future holds.

Kelly also said the following:

Gil has always felt that it is wise for someone in the minstry to also have a skill they can use as well. Some small country churches have really small budgets, so having a skill enables pastors and missionaries to be self-supporting.

Photo courtesy of thebatesfamily.com 

47 comments:

  1. She doesn't say a word about why Bobby left.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, we only ask because we care.

      Delete
    2. Their reasons appear to be private to Bobble & Tori. It really doesn't matter because God will use him to minister wherever he lands.

      Delete
    3. i could be wrong but i think the part about 'small budgets' is a good clue. i've never known a youth or assistant pastor not to have another job because you just cant support a family on that small an income, especially in today's economy. i don't know what type of job he's doing at the plumbing company but it's probably a good and consistent income as well as them being close to family

      Delete
    4. Some things are best left private,”between family.”

      Delete
    5. I know @11:58! They always give an answer without really giving any personal info. I understand they may want to keep some things private, but that usually doesn't happen when one is on tv.

      Delete
  2. I go to a small country church that has less than 50 members. Our pastor makes $.50 cents on the dollar. He can not support himself or his family on that, so he has a full time job at a factory. If people would stop sitting around the house and donating thousands of dollars to these prosperity preachers on TV maybe these small churches would have more members which in turn equals more tithes. Frankly, it is no ones business why Bobby is working with Kelton. The whole Bates family seems like such a wonderful family and I am sorry that you feel you need to explain what your children are doing for a living.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You’re exactly correct. Some people are just nosy!

      Delete
    2. Spoiled1 People may be nosy but when you put your life on television, showing their move to the area where his church is, his graduation from PCC with a degree in ministry, a sudden change in direction is bound to make people curious. If their show was a complete piece of fiction, people wouldn't care. But it is categorized as a reality show so people want to know what is happening in their lives. (And yes, I know that reality shows are not completely real.)

      Delete
    3. I agree with everything you said. Right on! It's a shame local churches aren't better supported and mega churches keep getting bigger. Unfortunate.

      Delete
    4. 1:12- People are not obligated to support any church at all, nor pay tithes, and there's nothing wrong with a pastor relying on another source of income. In fact, I think it's a good thing. Money and power corrupt, which is what happens in these mega big-box churches. Your small church congregation is probably better off doing with less.

      Delete
  3. Whatever they want to do. At least if they're close to family.

    ReplyDelete
  4. that is a very good idea. many pastor who work in the church I attend wives hold jobs to suppport the familly. many missionaires I know hold jobs so they do not depend on others to support them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you Kelly. There are certainly lots of examples in the New Testament where the Apostles had to work to support their family, yet continued to spread God’s Word. I think it is wonderful that Kelton was able to hire his best friend and allow him the opportunity to learn a trade for this time in his life, and what a blessing to have Gil there to encourage him along in this walk...

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have to agree with Mrs. Bates it's good to have many talents just in case you must retire from one also you have one or three more to put into good use.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many times pastors have had a previous career. One church that I belonged to had a history of pastors who were not originally in ministry! Bobby's ministry degree isn't going anywhere. He can still use it part time or later on in life.

      Delete
  7. Thank you for clearing that up, Ellie. My husband left the ministry after 7 years to go into another field, and it was just the right move for him. He has still had many opportunities to serve the Lord and even preach sometimes, and we have learned a lot since then. If we ever go back into the ministry at some point, I feel like we will be much better equipped. Hoping all the best for Bobby and Tori!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I agree with Gil that it is wise to have other skills. I've been to churches where mostly youth pastors will have a side job to help make ends meet.
    I'm sure the Lord will direct Bobby where he can serve in ministry.

    ReplyDelete
  9. it is very wise for a young minister to have a secular job my husband did because he preached in small congregations and we had to have another income.

    ReplyDelete
  10. MO- I wonder how Bobby's Mom and Dad feel about the change of employment? I would imagine that the Smith family and Bobby knew there might be some lean years starting out in the ministry. Of course many church family members help the young pastors. I'm guessing maybe Bobby is an apprentice under Kelton? There will be additional schooling ahead for his new profession as well. I hope everything works out. :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Similar thoughts really. Lots of talk about being near family... but what about moving nearer Bobby’s family... will that ever be an option for them to be nearer the Smiths?

      Delete
    2. 1:05 Of course, it is an option to live near Bobby's family one day. Bobby and Tori had a choice of where to live. No one made them move back to Knoxville. He gets to work with his best friend, and they are near Tori's family. It sounds like a win, win. They may at some time decide to move to Florida like Alyssa, but that is their choice.

      Delete
  11. Are they choosing money and worldly comforts over ministry?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is unfair. Ministers have obligations that are financial as well as spiritual and they need money to meet those obligations Wives and babies cost money no matter how frugal one is. Paying rent and buying groceries is not a worldly comfort.

      Delete
    2. Providing food and shelter for your family is soooo worldly.

      Delete
    3. Sad that you think 'ministry' only occurs in a church building by full-time employees. Bobby can use what he has learned through every aspect of his life.

      Delete
    4. The Bible says if you don’t take care of your own family that you are worse than an infidel. Bobby’s first responsibility after his relationship with the Lord is his family. Ministry comes after family. A lot of pastors have lost their families by putting them to the side and focusing on ministry first. Then they end up out of the ministry. It is wise for Bobby to get his priorities right as this age. It doesn’t matter where they live and what church they attend, there will always be plenty of ministry opportunities.

      Delete
  12. What a lovely family that cares about their fans and gives an explanation. I admire Bobby for wanting to take care of his family financially and, yes, he can spread the Good News just by being a good person and working hard and talking nicely to everyone he meets. I hope for his sake that he does an actual apprenticeship so that he can make the good money as a plumber and not just stay an assistant.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I like how family is so practical.

    ReplyDelete
  14. He is being a good husband and a good Christian!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I agree completely that it's a good plan to have other employment besides just relying on a ministerial position that doesn't pay well. I'm surprised Tori and Bobby didn't postpone marriage until he had secured a stable job. I assume they knew ahead of time the salary of the youth pastor position.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree! You should secure your fiances before getting married. At least have a good plan. I just think it odd that after such a short time in his ministry job Bobby quit to go be a plumber. Makes no sense. But that's his decision to make and I hope he and Tori are happy.

      Delete
    2. If you postpone everything for the sake of “stability” you miss so much life. A lot of growth can happen when you try new things, chase different dreams, and go down different avenues. It’s also not uncommon for young people to have many different careers these days. God can and does move and work in various ways through his children. He also loves a risk taker because you learn to lean on Him and not your own (false) sense of stability and control.

      Delete
    3. anon@10:08- What kind of risks are you talking about? I think God is approving of those who use the brains they were given, along with common sense. I think this idea of "leaning on God" is an overused platitude to justify just about any path taken. Children need stability and parents who are in control of their lives, not those who are flitting from one job to another trying to find themselves or chase dreams. When kids are involved, it's a different ballgame. There's nothing false about being stable in a good job. It pays the bills. Save the risk-taking for before the kids come along or after they grow up and leave home.

      Delete
    4. 4:01 I think God “approves” anyone who seeks him first instead of solely relying on their own false sense of wisdom and control. I spent most of my adult life using my brain to make logical, wise choices when it comes to finance, jobs, relationships etc...and every single one of those have been destroyed or tested by circumstances beyond my control. I’ve had to completely re evaluate my thinking. I agree that there is nothing wrong with a stable job but sometimes those jobs aren’t as stable as you may have originally thought or they aren’t a good fit for you. You can risk stepping out in faith and trusting that God will guide you. This is a constant back and forth relationship with God. He closes and opens doors and you have to be self aware and God aware enough to learn what listening and leaning into him looks like. This is the type of relationship he desires...not a “God gave me the brains to know exactly what to do to be successful”. That almost always turns out to be more worldly wisdom than Godly. I’m speaking from experience. i fought so hard to stay on the “logical and stable” path that it took me lots of years and exhaustion to realize God wanted me to get on a completely different path...one that didn’t make sense to the world. And I’ve had kids for most of this.
      And my comment about kids changing careers is based off of generational research and studies as to why so many are leaving the church. Their world is different than ours, opportunities are different and holding them to our standards of success only serves to drive them away. Black and white thinking has got to stop. It only hurts people. God is so much bigger than our cultural “common sense”

      Delete
  16. Kelly responded with Gil's experiences. No one asked about that. Please answer the question about Bobby's situation. Bobby should respond to this, not his mother-in-law.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps Bobby doesn't feel the need to explain his decision to the world.

      Delete
    2. Bobby should do what he wants. They aren't required to let the public know the reasoning behind their move or why he changed careers. The public can ask questions but the Smiths are under no obligation to answer or share all aspects of their lives. I do agree that Kelly should stay out of it and allow the Smiths to provide their own updates.

      Delete
    3. If there was some kind of conflict in the church where he worked, Bobby will never say that. It isn’t an appropriate thing to talk about. As a minister, you never leave a church and then talk bad about the people or other pastors. He will probably never publically state why he left. He is an adult and made the best decision for his family. If he didn’t get along with someone or didn’t agree with the direction of the ministry, he has a right to leave and move on. My brother is a pastor. He has left churches in the past due to funds not being spent correctly, pastors saying one thing but privately living differently, immorality of the pastor, etc. He never gossiped about the churches after he left, but he had valid reasons to leave. I was a church secretary. Several youth pastors and administrative pastors left, because the pastor was very difficult to work with. There wasn’t anything wrong in the church. They just had a lot of personality conflicts.

      Delete
    4. I agree with you @ 1:21. I know there can be church splits, wrong church doctrine taught, etc.
      I'm glad that Bobby hasn't said anything because it could be hurtful to his former congregation.

      Delete
    5. Kelly was responding to people who commented on something she shared. She wasn't coming out and making a statement on Bobby's career path.

      Delete
  17. Most preachers have a full time job to support family. Then later go back to prea ching. Good going Bobby and Tori. He can also work as a youth minister while plumbing.








    ReplyDelete
  18. You can minister anywhere. Its our duty to depart and serve Jesus and others. Praying for my Bates family

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I disagree that it’s “our duty”. I would describe it as more of an outpouring of the grace that we have been given. A duty is something done out of obligation. I’m not obligated to serve God. I choose to because I’m so overwhelmed by His love and the gift of new life he has given me.
      I understand what you mean but I think we have to be careful about the language we use because it could lead people to believe that God is a strict task master and not the sacrificial creator and provider that He is.

      Delete
    2. I think she was trying to justify Bobby's move (I don't know why) and so she tried to make it sounds like a command. It's pretty clear there's no command to go work for a plumber.

      Delete
    3. 10:58 Kelly was responding to questions that were asked on something she shared. It wasn't necessarily a statement on Bobby's future plans.

      Delete
  19. I wish all the best for Tori and Bobby. Bobby will only grow in wisdom and love working toward his and Tori's goals. Bless them both.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving your comments! Our aim is to post all points of view, but we do not post anything that is profane, insulting, derogatory, or in poor taste.