By: Katie Sobiech
Although he will be celebrating his 76th birthday this year, Bob Dailey isn’t letting that stop him from living out his purpose. At the age when most are ready to retire, Dailey says that he is just getting started. In fact, instead of retiring he says that he will be re-firing. “People in the retirement age have so much to give,” he said, “yet we put them on the shelf and say ‘We’re done with you.’ It’s sad because they have the wisdom, experience and everything younger people need to know.”
Dailey, who became a Christian in 1954 while in the Navy, is a man with a sincere passion for ministry – specifically ministering to pastors. Once a pastor himself, he knows what they need; and one of the greatest things that he says they need is a friend. “I just want to be a friend to them,” he said.
And he is no stranger to the ministry. His collection of memories in ministry include being a staff member and Associate Pastor of the Rex Humbard Ministry for nearly 13 years (Humbard was a well known television evangelist and pastor of the Cathedral of Tomorrow in Cuyahoga Falls), and he also spent nearly 20 years ministering at a church in Florida.
A Minister to Ministers
The moment that Dailey first felt called to minister to ministers was in 2003 when he realized what a great need there was for it. “Ministers don’t have anyone to go to,” he said, “the congregation can go to them, but who do they go to? It’s my job to fill in the gap, and I feel that I have something to give them through my experience.”
Being in the ministry, Dailey found that most pastors don’t want to go to anyone when they make a mistake, out of fear of losing their job, or losing influence within their organization. And so he has made it his job to be their mediator. “They can come and tell me anything and know that it’s between me, them and God,” he said.
Being a minister can be a lonely walk. Dailey remembers when he used to be the pastor of a church right outside of Lodi and no one was ever there to help or encourage him. “People put pastors on pedestals,” he said, “they treat them almost like God; they’re available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, 7 days a week, you know? But they need help; they need to be ministered to.”
Back to Square One Ministries
After working at a church in Lakeworth Florida for nearly 20 years, Dailey felt led to begin a ministry dedicated to pastors which he called Back to Square One Ministries. He also started his T.V. program From the Heart of the Pastor, where he interviewed pastors.
Any minister who is burned out, struggling with something, or just needs to talk to someone can contact Dailey and he will set up a time for them to get together free of charge. “I just want to be a blessing to them,” he said.
Although he’s done pre-marital and marriage counseling in the past, he makes it clear that this isn’t counseling, but ministering to men and being their friend.
Greatest Problem among Pastors
One of the greatest tragedies that Dailey has seen among pastors is what he refers to as the “energizer bunny”. “They become workaholics,” he said, “thinking they’ve got to do it all – and so they keep going, going, going.”
Many of the pastors that he knows don’t even take their vacations, and if they do they go from Monday to Saturday – never missing a Sunday service.
He has also seen those who won’t hand over any of the tasks in the church to anyone else. “They need to learn to step back and say ‘Who does this belong to? Who’s running this church? Am I running it or is God running it?’ If God is running it then they don’t have to worry about it.”
Encouraging Your Pastor
Dailey says that encouraging your pastor is one of the greatest things that you can do for him. “Pastors are people too. We need to be encouraged,” he said, “it’s nice to tell your pastor that you love him and appreciate what he’s doing.”
Pastoral appreciation day is a great day to show your thanks; but pastors need encouragement more than once a year. Dailey suggests doing something for your pastor, like giving him and his wife a certificate to go out to dinner, or letting him know that you are praying for him.
In the future, Dailey is looking forward to having what he calls “Successful Servant Summit Seminars” for pastors and their wives. He wants to invite up to 15-20 pastors along with their wives for food and refreshments, videos, and a time for him to share his own testimony. The entire purpose is to encourage the pastors to keep doing the work that they are doing and to show them some appreciation for all that they do.