The 2017 IBSA Pastors’ Conference will kick off Nov. 7 at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Decatur with a focus on the spiritual health of leaders, their families, and their churches. The conference, held prior to the IBSA Annual Meeting, is based on the qualities the Apostle Paul set out for church leadership in Titus 1:5-9.
The theme for the conference, “Time for a Check-Up,” is something pastors are familiar with when it comes to their congregations, said Brian Smith, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Granite City and president of this year’s Pastors’ Conference. Pastors provide spiritual check-ups for their people every week through preaching and teaching, but who’s doing the same for the pastor?
“That is what this conference is for, to provide pastors and staff with a spiritual health check-up and scriptural prescriptions for better spiritual health for them and ultimately their families and churches,” Smith said.
Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines is among the preachers who will fill the pulpit at Tabernacle Nov. 7-8. Joining him are Ed Stetzer, who holds the Billy Graham Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College and serves as executive director of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism; Curtis Gilbert, lead pastor of the Belleville campus of The Journey; and Joe Valenti, associate pastor of youth and missions at Cuyahoga Valley Church in Broadview Heights, Ohio.
The Pastors’ Conference also will include breakout sessions led by the speakers and other Illinois leaders:
- Valenti will lead a session on healthy churches reaching UPG’s (unreached people groups), and also a breakout on healthy youth ministry.
- Gilbert will lead pastors in developing healthy church elders and building a healthy multi-site ministry.
- Rayden Hollis, pastor of Red Hill Church in Edwardsville, will lead a session on healing from an unhealthy ministry, and also will facilitate a church planting round table discussion.
- A trio of IBSA staff members will also lead breakout sessions, which will be offered at both breakout times on Tuesday. Pat Pajak, associate executive director of evangelism, will encourage pastors with ways to make their churches more evangelistic; Mark Emerson, associate executive director of the Church Resources Team, will speak on healthy small groups and Sunday school; and Steve Hamrick, director of worship ministries, will lead a session on developing and leading healthy worship teams.
- On Wednesday morning at 8:30, Gaines will speak to Pastors’ Conference attenders and participate in a Q&A session.
A pizza dinner will be offered onsite Tuesday evening for $10 per person. To purchase dinner tickets and for more Pastors’ Conference info, go to IBSAannualmeeting.org.
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