MIAMI— Monday through Friday Sal Cavarretta can be found selling boats, water bikes, wave runners and all sorts of water-sporting vehicles at Riva Motor Sports. On Sundays he preaches at Grace Gathering Church in Boca Raton, a church he launched post-pandemic.
“After the pandemic, the campus I was preaching was going to be closed,” he said. “I thought that my ministry was done,” he said.
God had other ideas.
“The people wanted to keep going and asked if we could continue the church separate from the mother church. So, we started gathering again under our new name Grace Gathering,” said Cavarretta, who suddenly became a bi-vocational pastor for the first time in his ministerial career.
“When you put your heart into something and all of a sudden it’s not going to continue, it is devastating,” he said. “But now when I look back I see God’s hand in it. The Lord has been good.”
‘In the middle of the world’
Cavarretta has discovered benefits to serving as a bi-vocational pastor.
In his 25 years of ministry, he spent most of his time with other Christians, rarely getting the opportunity to share the gospel. Now, he works in an environment where he is the only Christian and has daily opportunities to plant a gospel seed.
“I am in the middle of the world; I have never been in it as I am now,” he commented.
One of his co-workers is Jewish, and the two men have had several biblical discussions with Cavarretta emphasizing to his friend that Jesus is the Messiah.
“That is a seed planted,” he said.
Another colleague listens to Christian music, although he is not a Christian, giving Cavarretta “an avenue to talk to him about the Lord and plant another seed.”
Other times his customers will bring up church or comment that he is a different kind of salesman, and he will share with them that he is a pastor, which opens the door to share his story and the gospel.
“Sometimes those of us who serve in full-time vocational church ministry are oblivious to the fact that church members’ work environments are very different than ours,” said Al Fernandez, Florida Baptist catalyst, Southeast Region.
“Pastor Sal Cavarretta lives out his faith in the real world, exposed to the same exact sinful behaviors that his congregation deal with every day at their respective jobs. This experience has made Pastor Sal a better and more effective church planter as he shares the gospel both at church and in the marketplace.”
“Now I can understand what the people from my church experience in their everyday lives,” said Cavarretta. “My congregation sees me and how I’m struggling to share the gospel but persevere, and they too can do it.”