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“I Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now” – An Interview with Dale Holloway

Leon Wilson, former National Missionary for Bivocational Ministries, interviewed Dale Holloway, bivocational strategist for the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board.

What propelled you toward bivocational ministry?

It happened to me in a business meeting in 1956. Sister S made a motion and Sister C quickly seconded, that the church discontinue paying the pastor’s utilities. I moved to Kansas and became a school principal/church planter. Often “boulders” that fall on us, become stepping stones toward God’s place of service.

What has provided your greatest “Life lift” in bivocational ministry?

I felt like a failure, a second class minister until 1977 when I read the story “The Bivocational Pastor” by Judy and Ken Touchton, in the Home Mission magazine. For the firs time I saw my identity and realized my ministry was legitimate. This made a revolutionary change in my attitude about myself. My first priority when I became National Consultant for Bivocational Ministries was to affirm and encourage Double Duty-Twice Blessed ministers, thereby allowing them to release more energies into the churches they were serving.

What can Baptist leaders do to provide the greatest strength to bivocational ministry?

Five state conventions have initial model plans to compliment the lives and ministries of bivocational ministers by employing a contract bivocational consultant or staff members. These persons currently serve as a bivocational pastor. They are successful leaders who have only one focus and one responsibility to the convention.

Baptist local associations that select a bivocational representative, insure that affirmation and resources are provided for bivocational ministers and churches. Better bonding is created by these ministers and the association.

When regional volunteers bivocational consultants are selected and deployed by NAMB, in 12 geographic areas of North America, states, associations, and bivocational ministers will be more effective in evangelism and church planting.

What are some of the big barriers in bivocational struggle for acceptance?

The attitude that bivocational ministers are not real ministers and that they are not very effective is a heavy handicap. On the contrary, research shows per 100 members, they have a higher Sunday School attendance, higher baptism ratio, have more enrolled in Discipleship Training and give more to association missions than churches with fully supported ministers.

Most meetings and training events are scheduled at times while bivocational ministers are at work in their support vocation.

Few colleges and seminaries have a curriculum that prepares persons for intentional bivocational ministry. They prepare ministers for fully supported positions. More than half of our graduates have no fully supported ministry to connect to.

Bivocational opportunities in new work areas are not filled because ministers do not have proficiency in a support vocation.

What are some of the joys of Double-Duty ministry?

Congregation members are more willing to share ministry responsibilities. This multiplies the ministry of the church and results in greater spiritual growth of the members.

Longer tenure strengthens churches and provides more stability and security for the ministers’ families.

Ministry leadership is available to start more new congregations. Ministers can be more prophetic without worrying about losing economic support.

Real ministry in the marketplace is abundantly available to us in our support vocation.

What advice would you give to bivocational ministers?

Celebrate your unique ministry.

Focus on first things; your family, your friends and God’s will.

Go where you are sent, and bloom where you are planted.

Never stop learning. When you stop learning you stop growing, and when you stop growing you begin to die.

Realize we are life long learners. It doesn’t all have to be finished before next Wednesday.

Love little children and big children.

Learn that being sensitive takes precedent over being sensible.

Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative. Bring gloom down to the minimum; spread joy up to the maximum.

Learn Jesus’ teachings and walk in Jesus’ steps.

Has your journey been fulfilling?

I honestly wouldn’t trade it for any other. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places.

How thankful I am to Jesus Christ my Lord for choosing me as His minister and the strength He gives in being faithful.

God has called a few of us to be successful. God has called all of us to be faithful.