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Pastor/Leadership Development

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Pastor/Leadership DevelopmentAbout Us

The Pastor/Leadership Development Department has the assignment of skill and leadership development for pastors, church staff, deacons, church officers, ministry assistants, church leadership teams, church committees, youth/adults in vocational guidance, and college students committed to church-related vocations. The department also has church facilities and furnishings consultant responsibilities and is coordinator of the Southern Baptist Convention Seminary Extension work for the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board. We have sought to equip and resource our target audience so that church leaders can be fulfilling the Great Commission. Our department’s goal is “to strengthen leaders so they can strengthen the church.”

We seek to assist our audience in both local church and associational work to improve themselves and provide servant leadership so that New Testament church health and growth will occur. A major part of our work has been the equipping of church and associational leaders through conferences, retreats, workshops, and counsel with individual leaders. These events can be statewide and/or regional meetings initiated by our department as well as requests from local church and associational leaders.

Department staff includes Keith Gordon, who began as a consultant on May 1, 1999, and Cathy Taylor, ministry assistant since October 7, 2011, coordinates the department’s ministry assistant (secretary) events and resources.


We equip and provide resources for associations in the area of pastoral ministries. We provide training so associational key leaders and leadership teams can help discover priority needs. We also provide resources to meet those needs. Last year we trained several associational leadership teams and several pastoral ministries directors.


Deacon work continues to be a highlight of our department. Most requests for deacon training come in the areas of spiritual growth, caring skills, church growth, and partnership in ministry with the pastor and staff. Throughout the year we coordinate training opportunities and requests for resources to many of our associations and hundreds of local churches. Over 1,000 persons are involved in deacon ministry training each year.


Every church expects its pastor and staff to be effective leaders. Ministers need training, counsel, and resources in developing their leadership style and skills. This major aspect of pastoral ministry greatly influences a church’s growth, ministry effectiveness, and community witness. Our desire is to enable ministers to be more skilled in the leadership arena. Annual and strategic planning were constant areas of concern as training opportunities for us during this past year. Resources from Next Level leadership, LifeWay, Lead Like Jesus, Wildworks, CoachNet, and other venues are offered as valuable tools to strengthen the leadership skills of all size church staffs and associations. Hundreds of people throughout our state are impacted with such training. The newest initiative is Coaching, which is in its third year of development.


During the past year we have worked with more than 2,000 ministers, staff personnel, and spouses in training, planning, and growing church leaders. At the 2011 State Convention, about 80 ministers’ wives attended our Ministers’ Wives Conference.


Throughout the year, we have handled hundreds of requests for resources from church leaders. These requests ranged from legal issues, staff relationships, worship, ministry position descriptions, policies and procedures, committee materials, and many other items that provide help to church leaders as they accomplish their Great Commission work. Every year we respond to a large number of requests for help on legal issues. Most of those are initiated by churches calling to seek our guidance.


An area of pastoral ministry that the department has strongly supported has been Bivocational/Small Church Ministry. Our department works with the Mississippi Council on Bivocational/Small Church Ministries to inform, assist, and encourage bivo ministers and associational leaders. The Council has been very active this past year to provide needed support for these ministers. In 2011, we provided planning sessions, retreats, and a major training event for our bivocational/small church pastors.


Department-sponsored events include Leadership Development Workshops, Preaching Conference, State Ministry Assistants Conference, Professional Certification and Office SkillShops for Ministry Assistants, Ministers’ Wives Conference, Bivocational/Small Church Ministers Fellowships, Church-Related Vocations Programs, Church Facilities and Furnishings Workshop, Student Day at the Baptist Building, and the Pastors’ Workshops.

Preach - Teach - Care - Equip - Lead - Guide - Support - Grow

Faithful Ministers:

Call, Character, Competency, Commitment

Healthy Churches:

One Great Commission, NT Ministries, Balanced Growth, Boldness for Jesus Christ

Click here to view/print Brochure for 2014 events Link to PDF filepdf

Other Pastor/Leadership Development pages