ST. CHARLES – The 2020 Pastors’ Conference at the St. Charles Convention Center here on Monday, Oct. 26, kicks off two days of Missouri Baptist events.
Sessions throughout the morning and early afternoon will feature speakers: Ronnie Floyd, President/CEO of the SBC Executive Committee, Nashville, Tenn.; Doug Munton, pastor of First Baptist Church, O’Fallon, Ill.; Kenny Qualls, pastor of First Baptist Church, Arnold; and Julius Wong-Loi-Sing, who formerly served as a pastor in Curacao and as a professor at Moody Bible Institute. He now serves at Hickory Creek Church, Frankfort, Ill.
Pastor Richard Clouse, the president of the 2020 Pastors’ Conference, said they are looking to encourage pastors, especially after the brutal spring and summer of the COVID-19 pandemic. He is the pastor of Carpenter St. Baptist Church, Moberly.
“The theme is ‘Stay the Course,” Clouse said. “But we added to the theme: “Remaining Focused on What Matters Most.”
“We have been operating all summer on a ‘hold pattern,’ hoping the conference and annual meeting will go forward as planned.”
He said it looks as if it will now, and the officers are refining the meeting plans in order to “encourage camaraderie with each other as pastors.” He said so much stress has been prevalent among the world of pastors, and they want to help pastors go away with a renewed vision of what ministry can be like in a post-COVID-19 setting.
“COVID-19 has totally rewired our thinking at Carpenter St.,” he said. “Our mantra is to move away from being a gathering church to being a going church. We spent a lot of time this year with people not being able to meet easily.”
He said they tried all the usual technology approaches of streaming worship services, gathering groups in online forums and found, for a lot of people, that didn’t work very well. Clouse said he started sending out a morning devotion on e-mail back in March and people have responded well to that approach. A lot of phone calls, post cards and emails to encourage people has become a part of his pastoral care approach.
Constant reaction to change has made Clouse and his associate pastors weary and frustrated. But they are encouraged that people have remained faithful in giving and attending as much as possible.
So Pastor Clouse encourages MBC pastors to come and be ministered to by the lineup of speakers from leading ministries and churches.
There will be books given away by some of the sponsors of the conference. The first 50 registrants to the conference will be receiving a Spurgeon Study Bible, which is valued at $90. This was an incentive for the first 50 pastors to register online for the conference. Clouse noted that they have now received those 50 registrants, and people who were notified of such may pick up their Bible at the registration table.
People may still register for the conference at: csbcmoberly.org and click on “Events” and “Stay The Course 2020.”
A schedule of the speakers and events may be found at: www.mobaptist.org/annual-meeting/pastors-conference. Also, readers may view the schedule below.