The 2017 National Celebration is fast approaching. It is always a good practice for churches and Christian ministries to ask themselves, “Why are we doing what we are doing.” That enables us to evaluate ministry activities and to insure that our activities are relevant to our purposes. So, why does the Bivocational and Small Church Leadership Network host an annual Celebration?
We might simply say that our constitution calls for us to do so. That, in and of itself, is a necessary reason for us to host this annual event. But why, when the Coordinating Council approved our current constitution, did they believe that such a meeting would be profitable? There are some excellent reasons.
First, it gives our Executive Director, our Board of Directors, our Regional Coordinators, our contract staff, our volunteers and the longtime friends and supporters of the BSCLN the opportunity to meet, unite hearts through worship and prayer, share testimonies, and discuss ministry strategies and possibilities. The people mentioned above live all across the United States. Most of our communication is done by email, phone calls and texts. This is efficient for our constant, daily work. But it is good for the many folks mentioned to have the opportunity to see each other face to face. With all of the benefits of modern communications, we cannot overlook the value of presence. As the Apostle Paul longed to see those with whom he had worked in the past, we look forward to that annual gathering of those who have set their hearts upon advancing the smaller churches of the SBC and encouraging and equipping pastors and pastor’s wives in those churches. The word “fellowship” in the New Testament actually carries with it the meaning of partnership or a common purpose. When we meet together, our fellowship is not to be found in meals or snacks and small talk, but in the uniting of our hearts in our desire to bless pastors and their wives. I have experienced this many times. It is a good thing.
Second, it gives us the opportunity minister to pastors and their wives while we are together. It has been our practice to host a pastors retreat as a major component of our National Celebration. That is why we move our Celebration from place to place each year. In recent years, we have been able to encourage pastors by placing our Celebrations in Missouri, Louisiana, Virginia, South Carolina, New Mexico, Arkansas, Alabama and numerous additional settings. Wherever we meet, we have the opportunity to engage pastors and their wives through worship and training experiences. We typically work with a co-sponsor in each setting who provides facilities and assistance in gathering pastors from their region. This year our co-sponsor is the Baptist College of Florida. We meet not only to plan and facilitate future ministry, but to impact the lives of pastors in a given area of our nation at the same time.
Third, as we meet, we have the opportunity to include new leaders who are ministering to bivocational and smaller churches and their pastors. This year, I expect several new participants to meet with us in Marianna, FL. Some will be state convention representatives. We will also have new pastors and associational leaders. If we are to be a Leadership Network, then we must intentionally bring new leaders into that network. I cannot think of a better way to do that than by involving them in a National Celebration. By inviting and bringing new friends, we can meet others who are ministering in a kindred vein and learn about the great things that God is using them to do. We can then partner in advancing God’s Kingdom work among His smaller churches as He so leads.
Meeting together to worship, plan, pray and minister. Blessing pastors in a strategic area of our country. Meeting new leaders and partnering with them for future ministry. These are great reasons for the BSCLN to host an annual National Celebration. Good, God honoring reasons. Please note the following information about the 2017 Celebration and plan to join us and experience the blessings associated with Christians gathering with hearts united in a common purpose for God’s glory and the good of others.
2017 BSCLN National Celebration
“Believe in Better”
Baptist College of Florida: Blue Springs Campus
September 29-30, 2017
Cost: $105.00 per individual; $135.00 per couple
Friday evening will include a fellowship meal, worship featuring the BCF Worship Team and Dr. Craig Conner, and Breakout Sessions. Saturday morning will feature breakfast, two rounds of Breakout Sessions, breaks, and worship led by the BCF Worship Team and Dr. Tom Kinchen.
Breakout Sessions; The breakout sessions will be designed to provide practical help for pastors in the areas of evangelism, missions, administration and technology. There will also be a track for pastor’s wives.
To register online, click HERE.