MBC Ministerial Services intentional about linking pastors with churches
By Allen Palmeri
December 9, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Associate Executive Director Kenny Qualls, in guiding the Ministerial Services Task Force, is looking forward to the day in 2005 when a Ministerial Services Specialist will be hired as an advocate for pastors in several important areas.
“It (Ministerial Services) wears many hats, but all of those hats have the same label of helping the local church be healthy,” Qualls said.
One of the many goals of Ministerial Services is to walk in-step with LifeWay’s Transitional Pastor ministry program, Qualls said. An Aug. 15-18 training session at the Baptist Building is designed so that the current supply of 25 trained transitional pastors in Missouri can grow to 100.
Transitional is a better word than interim, Qualls said, in that it more accurately describes what Ministerial Services wants to accomplish in the local church when a pastor leaves.
“Transitional is a very intentional word because it says we want the church to continue to go forward,” Qualls said. “We’re just not going to take a pause until we get the next pastor. We want to make the church even healthier and stronger in between pastors.”
The Ministerial Services Task Force, a group of nine men from around the state, has been meeting every other month as a means of laying a foundation for a Ministerial Services Specialist. As pastors and directors of missions, the members of the task force have mentored many young men in the ministry, Qualls said. Another key person who relates to Ministerial Services is MBC Leadership Development Specialist Monty Hale.
“There is just a natural bridge between what Ministerial Services does and what Monty Hale does in the area of leadership,” Qualls said. “Healthy churches have healthy leaders. Those two areas will really walk hand-in-hand together, but there is enough distinctiveness that it would be too much for one individual to do.”
Pastors can turn to Ministerial Services for counseling, help with conflict resolution and help in the event that the pastor is terminated, Qualls said. Ministerial Services also receives resumes and sends out resumes to churches that request them. Churches in need of supply pastors can also contact Ministerial Services for a preacher on a particular date, Qualls said.
“It’s a multi-faceted ministry,” he said.
The task force, as it is structured now, is designed to help churches who need to form a pulpit search committee. Once a new man is called to a church, he can attend an orientation session for new ministers set for April at the Baptist Building. Qualls said he hopes 50 new pastors will attend.
Transitional pastors who are recommended by the Ministerial Services Task Force are required to sign off on the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message, Qualls said, ensuring that MBC pastors maintain a theological perspective that does not come into conflict with the Southern Baptist Convention.
“We want to do as much as we possibly can to guarantee to our Southern Baptist churches in Missouri that if they receive a name from us or a resume from us or a supply pastor from us, that it is someone who holds to the doctrines we hold to; but it is up to the local church to check with people,” Qualls said.
Qualls summarized the thrill of being a part of the Ministerial Services Task Force as members continue to strengthen relationships in all eight regions of the state.
“It is really exciting when, in a small way, the Ministerial Services office can help introduce a potential pastor to a church,” he said.