The mission of the Pastor/Leadership Development Department is “to strengthen leaders in order to strengthen churches.” To accomplish our goals, we have focused the resources of our department on the priorities of Unleashed Leadership Development, Unprecedented Church Expansion, and Unparalleled Missionary Mobilization. Our target audience consists of pastors, church staff, deacons, church officers, ministry assistants, church leadership teams, church committees, youth/adults surrendered to vocational ministry, and college students committed to church-related vocations. We have concentrated our energies on resourcing and equipping our target audience so that church leaders can be effective in fulfilling the Great Commission.
To assist our audience, we respond to requests from individual leaders and churches, provide training on the associational level, and conduct both regional as well as statewide conferences. Each year, we work with scores of ministers, staff personnel and spouses, and church members to resource and train for ministry. Some of these opportunities are listed on our departmental brochure:
Doctors Daniel Caldwell (William Carey University), Ronald Meeks (Blue Mountain College), and Wayne VanHorn (Mississippi College), lead in our statewide Preaching Conference over a period of three days and hosted at each of our participating Baptist colleges. Focusing on individual books of the Bible, our speakers cover crucial topics such as the background and setting, the theological themes and issues, and sermonic approaches to each book. UPDATE: The focus of 2017’s Preaching Conference will be the Book of Mark!
We begin the year with an emphasis on deacon ministry by encouraging deacons in every church to review their training plan and ministry goals for the year. Throughout the year, our department is available to train and resource deacons. Some of the more requested topics are: Bible-Based Deacon Ministry Today, How Deacons Help Manage Church Conflict, and Effective Pastor/Deacon Relationships.
We conduct two major events each year in order to equip, train, and encourage ministry assistants. The “Ministry Assistants Conference” (Spring) provides ministry assistants with opportunity for fellowship, sharing, and enrichment. The “Professional Certification & Office Skillshops for Ministry Assistants” (Summer) provides continuing education, enrichment, and fellowship for ministry assistants through certification and training.
CRV BANQUETS & STUDENT DAY
Christian Religious Vocation (CRV) students are training for ministry on each of our three Baptist college campuses. To connect with and encourage those students, we host CRV banquets at all three colleges during the fall of each year. Dr. Jim Futral is our featured speaker for the banquets and always provides an inspirational and challenging message. Student Day provides an opportunity for CRV students to come to the Baptist Building to see first-hand the ministry resources available to them as a result of Cooperative Program giving.
CHURCH BUILDING SERVICES
A ministry to assist churches in the process of securing additional space or renovating existing space. Buildings are tools for ministry, and congregations need the right tools to insure that ministry is carried out in a God-honoring way. We encourage churches to procure the space and facilities for today’s needs while planning for tomorrow’s opportunities.
A significant area of pastoral ministry includes Bivocational (dual-career) work. A growing number of pastors are entering bivocational ministry. Over seven hundred MBCB-affiliated churches are served by dual-career pastors. Our department provides planning helps, retreats, and training events for our bivocational pastors.
Frequently asked questions of P/LD Ministry:
Throughout the year, we receive requests from vocational and lay leaders to address the following questions:
- We cannot find our legal documents. What do we do?
- What is the difference between incorporation and 501(c)(3) status? Should our church incorporate?
- We have heard about shootings in churches. What can we do to protect ourselves responsibly?
- What is the difference between licensing and ordination?
These and many more questions represent the full scope of our ministry. We commit ourselves to answer the question and provide appropriate resources or find another person or department capable of answering the question.