MBC hosts transitional pastor training
By Allen Palmeri
August 23, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY– Ron Cassaday, associate pastor, First Baptist Church, Springfield, came to Jefferson City for a four-day transitional pastors training conference knowing that he would leave enriched.
“One of the things you get out of this is you’re around men of wisdom – seasoned pastors, denominational leaders … I mean, these are not average guys,” Cassaday said. “They’re anointed, they’re blessed, and they’re stirring the interest and enthusiasm of a lot of pastors to continue serving God in new roles.”
Five nationally recognized trainers came to the Baptist Building Aug. 15-18 to deliver the training sessions through the Transitional Pastor Ministry of LifeWay Church Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
“It is intensive training,” said Roy Edgemon, a former pastor, missionary and denominational worker who spent 24 years as LifeWay/SBC director of Discipleship and Family Development before retiring in 2001. “We never really get this training in school. These are practical things.”
A total of 43 transitional pastors signed up for the training. A handful came from other states. Jim Carter, who will be joining the Missouri Baptist Convention staff as ministerial services specialist Oct. 1, said that he now can identify a group of about 40-45 trained transitional pastors in the state. His task will be to connect them with churches that are in between pastors.
“I’m very pleased by how comprehensive but also how practical it is for any church,” Carter said.
The five conference leaders who came to Jefferson City interacted often with the participants. In the morning of Aug. 17, Cassaday came up to Bill Hogue, former vice president of Evangelism at the Home Mission Board, with a statement that calling men and women to prayer ought to be included in the material as one of the functions of the church. Cassaday was confident that his point was heard.
“The prayer life of the church reflects the power of the church, because this is our way of conversing with the Father,” Cassaday said.
Other speakers at the conference were: Paul Strahan, pastoral ministry specialist, LifeWay; Henry Webb, director of Pastoral Ministries, LifeWay; and Bob Sheffield, pastoral ministry specialist, LifeWay.
“I think the Lord is using this type of conference to maximize the giftedness of men so that they don’t sit on the bookshelf, that they’re still on the front lines of service for kingdom work,” Cassaday said.