I work among and converse with pastors and staff members of Southern Baptist Churches nearly every day of the week in a variety of settings. Let me assure you that none of them are having an easy time of it. If it’s not stressful issues within the church they are addressing it is the slow drain on their membership from the cultural shift and growing disinterest in organized religion (the church) which has been taking place for the last several years.
Watching this slow decline in your church’s attendance is brutally difficult to handle for pastors. They are told at conferences by denominational leaders that “if you haven’t baptized anyone for a few years you ought to just turn in your papers as a pastor and Baptist”, or, “leadership is everything”, implying that if their church isn’t growing it is their fault. This slow decline, not to mention the regular stresses of being a pastor, takes its toll on the pastor. No one in the church quite understands this kind of despair; thus, the pastor often carries this burden alone. There it is; the one word that defines leadership and pastoring better than any other: lonely. In that loneliness, Satan gangs up on the pastor and conducts a full frontal attack on him. Satan even convinces some pastors that they can handle it without help.
Here’s some good news, Pastor. You’re not alone. You’re not the only one whose church is struggling. Your ministry is not a failure because God measures it based on faithfulness, not numbers. And, there is a group of pastors in Blue River-Kansas City Baptist Association who get together once a month to share the pastoral burden, to encourage one another and discuss church revitalization principles that are working to bring back churches from the brink of disbanding. The group has discussions of current books written on revitalization and invites in guest speakers to address pertinent subjects. We call it the Legacy Cohort and the schedule is just below this article (or you can find all of the 2017 dates, locations, and maps on our calendar page).
I strongly encourage you to join us for our next Legacy meeting. I think you’ll be blessed by it. Also below (and on the calendar), you’ll find the schedule and location for our quarterly E3 prayer luncheons. This is a time for pastors to pray for one another and share victories and burdens in a safe, confidential setting. We hope you’ll make it a priority to join us for one or both of these events designed specifically to encourage and support pastors.
Legacy Cohort 2017 Dates
10 a.m. – includes lunch
1/10 Country Meadows, Independence
2/14 Country Meadows, Independence
3/14 Country Meadows, Independence
4/11 BRKC Office, Greenwood
5/9 BRKC Office, Greenwood
8/8 Church at Three Trails, Independ.
9/12 Church at Three Trails, Independ.
10/10 Church at Three Trails, Independ.
11/14 Oakwood, Lee’s Summit
12/12 Oakwood, Lee’s Summit
E3 2017 Dates
Noon – Includes Lunch
2/2 Abiding Love, Harrisonville
2/16 Pathway, Raymore
2/23 Harvest, Blue Springs
3/2 Sterling Acres, Independence
5/4 Abiding Love, Harrisonville
5/18 Pathway, Raymore
5/25 Harvest, Blue Springs
6/1 Sterling Acres, Independence
9/7 Abiding Love, Harrisonville
9/21 Pathway, Raymore
9/28 Harvest, Blue Springs
10/5 Sterling Acres, Independence
11/2 Abiding Love, Harrisonville
11/16 Pathway, Raymore
11/30 Harvest, Blue Springs
12/7 Sterling Acres, Independence