‘Seasons of Shepherding’ is the theme for this year’s Missouri Pastors’ Conference
By Allen Palmeri
September 16, 2004
REPUBLIC – The 2004 Missouri Baptist Pastors’ Conference (MBPC) Oct. 25 at First Baptist Church, Raytown, is structured so that a pastor can grab onto at least one specific portion of a message as he listens to speakers talking about all of the seasons in his life.
“Seasons of Shepherding” is the brainchild of Mike Green, pastor, Calvary Baptist Church, Republic, and MBPC president. Green, 48, has been shepherding his flock for more than 22 years and is in the middle of overseeing a move into a 75,000-square-foot facility on 24 acres.
“I wanted to kind of take a pastor from conversion all the way through closing out well,” Green said. “That was my goal. I want to encourage pastors at every stage, because I think there are great things to accomplish at each stage in their ministry. I think in a lot of ways, when you hit your mid-40s and you’ve been in the pastorate for very long, if you’re not careful, you begin to shoot from the hip instead of expanding and continuing to grow all the way through your ministry.
“I think a lot of guys get good at running the system, so they get complacent. I think that’s why a lot of our churches don’t grow. I want to challenge guys at every age that we can still see great things happen.”
Green said Bobby Welch, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Paul Negrut, president of the Romanian Baptist Union, will speak in addition to four others: Tony Preston, associate dean, pastoral leadership, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; David Ring, evangelist; Rick Hedger, pastor, Calvary Baptist Church, Neosho; and Bill Massey, development officer, Missouri Baptist Children’s Home. Negrut will speak twice.
Themes that the speakers will address include: “A call to start the spiritual life;” “A call to suffer;” “A call to serve;” “A call to citizenship;” “ A call to sacrifice;” “A call to serenity;” and “A call to steadfast hope.”
Green has been learning about suffering. He has been recuperating from back surgery and a series of injections in his spine that have “somewhat incapacitated” him in the last six months. During that time he has leaned on the expertise of Monty Dunn, president-elect of the Pastor’s Conference, and Vic Borden, secretary-treasurer.
“They have just been invaluable,” Green said.
Borden, pastor of Red Bridge Baptist Church, Kansas City, is excited about how the details of the conference have been falling into place.
“The purpose is to equip, encourage, exhort and further the ministries of those who are the shepherds in God’s church,” he said. “We think that this particular theme will speak to the pastor as a whole. We really believe this is going to be a home run. It’s going to speak to the pastor either where he is, where he will be or where he’s come out of.
“If a man will come to the conference open and humble before God, we believe that the plate will be full. I plan on my life being changed.”
Green said that the conference will help him prepare for the new season in his ministry at Calvary Baptist, which hopes to move into its new building, a converted grocery store, by January.
“I’ve seen more happen than I envisioned, and the church has, too, so we’re re-dreaming our dreams,” he said. “We felt that as a church we had to just almost go back and start all over.”
Denny Marr, minister of education and administration at Calvary who doubles as congregational music leader, will help lead music for the Pastor’s Conference. Green’s wife, Cathy, will also play a role in leading music. Red Bridge Baptist Church will participate through the ministry of Heaven Bound, a Southern Gospel quartet, and Sounds of Praise, a youth choir.