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Meeting Minutes – June 14, 2005

Meeting of the Mississippi Council on Bivocational Ministries

June 14, 2005
Baptist Building
Jackson, Mississippi

The meeting began at 9:30 a.m. with Joe Young presiding, who welcomed the group and called on Scott Frank to lead in prayer. He then yielded the floor to Dale Holloway, Bivocational Specialist for Mississippi Baptists.

Jimmy McCaleb led the group in singing, and Dr. Holloway introduced new bivos to the assembly. Mel Pheifer read Scripture.

There was a time of prayer, with special prayers offered for Chris Carter, our vice president, who was absent due to back problems. Allen Stephens led in prayer for Chris and his family. Talmadge Smith then led in prayer for Buddy Irby who died in a train crash. Marc Howard led in prayer for the infant grandson of Ken Cook. Marvin Cox led in prayer for mates of bivos, as well as for Pat Holloway who awaits a second knee replacement surgery. Prayer was offered for safe travel for First Baptist, Senatobia, en route from mission work in Mexico, and for employment for Jonathan Bachler, son-in-law of Joe and Joanne Young.

Dr. Lowell Ingram was appointed recorder for the meeting, writing ideas on the board as the group brainstormed.

Dr. Frank Harmon, director of the MBCB Church-Minister Relations department spoke on the importance of bivos in Baptist life and work. Consensus was that we must train search committees in how to seek pastoral leadership, and help them see that bivocationalism can be a good option. Articles in The Baptist Record could help.

It was discussed that bivos seldom relocate. Dr. Harmon does not circulate resumes of bivos outside a 25 mile radius of their secular work. Other factors important to bivos are schools for their children. Bivos usually serve in churches paying less than $30,000 per year plus expenses and benefits.

Time management was discussed as a major problem of bivos.

The group retired to the chapel to watch a DVD of Bobby Welch, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, expressing his high regard for the work of bivos in ministry.

Don Lum, who is responsible for assisting single-staff churches, says that there are 850-1000+ bivo churches in the state. To fully compensate a pastor, a church needs an annual income in excess of $75,000. Yet the average Mississippi Baptist church only averages 57 in Sunday School.

Dr. Holloway went over the minutes of the last meeting, and praised the staff of our convention for their support of bivos.

Discussion returned to time management. Dr. Robin Brumfield led a session on the topic, and there was a consensus that time management will make or break a ministry. Bivo ministers cannot do all the work of the church, and it forces them to follow a Biblical model of shared ministry with the congregation.

The card that Dr. Holloway was instructed to send out to gain information from bivos had a mailing problem and only about 30% were returned. These were passed out so that the group can call them and encourage them.

Terry Long led a session on confession of corporate sin by churches, and shared an experience in his church in which the church apologized to its community for unChrist like actions, and related the positive effect it has had on the church.

Other new people in attendance were introduced and the ministry assistants, Kay McDonnell and Sarah Hall were thanked. Thanks was returned by Bryan Presson before we adjourned for lunch.

After lunch we discussed the positive effect of Bobby Welch’s selecting a bivo for a keynote SBC speaker. Dr. Holloway shared that Dr. Jim Futral has nominated Bryan Presson of our group to preach at the SBC in 2006.

All present were given the Welch DVD and urged to share it with others.

Dr. Holloway showed a Mississippi map with nine areas marked, with a goal of having a bivo council in each.

He read “In the Marketplace” to the group, an inspirational poem commending bivocationalism.

Tennessee’s model for training bivos was circulated, and we discussed training. Various persons shared what training was meaningful to them, and available training was discussed. The end result of the training should be that those trained should reproduce themselves.

The need to get bivocationalism emphasized in colleges was stressed, as was the need for a bivo curriculum in colleges. Brothers Ingram, King and Young were appointed to propose a bivocational curriculum to be “sold” to at least one college. All these men are bivocational college educators.

More definite plans for the bivo booth at the state convention were formed, and for a bivo pastor’s conference. Bryan Presson offered his church, Eagle Ridge, as a location. He is in charge of the booth at FBCJ. A committee was appointed to design the booth (Bryan Presson, Scott Frank, Chris Carter, Marc Howard and Ken Cook.)

The meeting was adjourned with prayer by Dr. King.