My Daddy used to tell me, “Son, you never stop learning. The day you stop learning is the day you die.” As a teenager, learning everyday at school and having life experiences, I welcomed the time when I did not have to learn or study ever again. As I approached manhood, I did discover that learning was an ongoing event. I learned about barbering; I learned about marriage (like most of you who read this, I could write volumes about the marriage relationship); I learned about life in the United States Air Force; and I learned about being a church leader.
Being a church leader included college and seminary. However, my best courses where those in which I learned from precious deacons, Sunday School teachers, and other church leaders in churches that were brave enough to allow me to be their pastor. I never did pastor a church with as many as 125 in morning attendance. When I became a DOM, I did get to be interim pastor of churches that ran over 125 in morning worship.
Some of the most valuable lessons learned were from attending workshops and networking with others who were in similar situations. Like many others, I struggled with getting the ministry done while working 40-60 hours a week at a secular job, being a husband and father, and then preparing three messages or Bible studies a week. This was in addition to fulfilling all the other duties, responsibilities and privileges that go with being a pastor of any church.
Just a reminder: In God’s Kingdom there are no little churches or even part-time churches. Churches of all sizes are charged with the same mission, “Great Commission and Great Commandment.”
There are several training opportunities throughout the state that are sponsored by the Missouri Baptist Convention. These events address all areas of church life. Do not forget the training that is available in the local associations. Take advantage of these; they will add much to your ministry and your personhood.
mb125 is a training and recreational opportunity that is being developed especially for the pastor of churches with 125 or less in Sunday morning attendance. This event will be held June 21-23 in Branson and will feature well-known speakers and teachers. There will be time for pastors and their families to enjoy Branson. In addition, there will also be many opportunities to network. The mb125 is designed to encourage, equip and empower our pastors and their families.
The mb125 has limited registration of 50 families. Cost is $199 if registered by Feb. 28. After March 1, the cost is $249. There is a payment option available. The registration cost includes three nights lodging, four meals, training and materials. Online registration is available at www.mobaptist.org/ministerialservices.
I look forward to seeing you in Branson in June. (George Roach is ministerial services specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention.)