The 2018 Pastors Conference kicked off tonight (Nov. 11, 2018) at Wayside Baptist Church in Miami, with the leadership of Pastor’s Conference President Erik Cummings, pastor of New Life Baptist Church in Carol City, under the theme ‘Contending for the Faith.’
Cummings opened the session by encouraging the assembled crowd that if they were open to God’s leading, they would be encouraged, strengthened and renewed.
He then introduced Tommy Green, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention, who welcomed the crowd and offered greetings from the churches of the Florida Baptist Convention, and especially from the churches of the panhandle who are still struggling with the aftereffects of Hurricane Michael. Green praised the tireless efforts of our Florida Baptist Disaster Relief, as well as the Churches Helping Churches initiative, noting that to date
noting that to date
- more than 750,000 meals have been served and
- 1,100 yards have been cleaned up, not to mention the
- many professions of faith that have been made
Worship was led by a talented group of singers and musicians from various churches known as United in Worship. They brought the crowd to their feet and to the throne room of Heaven with a mix of upbeat songs and soulful melodies.
Clayton Cloer, pastor of Church at the Cross in Orlando, brought the first message of the night. Staying with the ‘Contending for the Faith’ and boxing theme, Cloer titled his message ‘Answering the Bell,’ a term in boxing that means that the boxer gets up for the next round no matter how battered or bloodied he is. Speaking out of 2 Corinthians 4-5, Cloer told pastors that Satan wants them to quit ministry, but they must be ready to do battle every day and keep answering the bell.
“Let us come beside them and let them know that they are not alone,” said Cummings, adding that all offerings collected throughout the Pastor’s Conference will go toward disaster relief in the Panhandle.
The second speaker of the night was Bob Franquiz, pastor of Calvary Fellowship in Miramar. Reading out of 2 Timothy 2:1-6 Franquiz touched on four aspects a pastor who wants to last in ministry should have.
First, a pastor who wants to last in ministry must be committed to investing in people. “People will disappoint you,” he said, “and it will always hurt but you must be strong in grace.” But despite people walking away, pastors must continue to “exhort and encourage.”
Next, he said that like soldiers pastors must endure hardship. “Faith and courage are built out of walking out in faith and courage.” He shared that for more than 14 years his church was a portable church. It was a trying and difficult experience but it built faith and courage.
Being perseverant like an athlete is also another characteristic a pastor must develop. “Runners will run no matter what the conditions are…Paul says that we must also be like that.” But not only must pastors persevere in ministry, they must do so with integrity, he said. “Even when others are not running the race with integrity, we must do so.”
Finally, he said that a pastor who wants to last in ministry must be patient like a farmer. “The challenge is that no matter how fast our growth gets, God is not changing his speed.”
The group of next generation Pastors in the Florida Baptist Convention is secure. Young Pastors and church planters gathered for fellowship and motivation to discuss personal ministry, within their churches, the Florida Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention with Dr. Jimmy Scroggins, pastor of Family Church in West Palm Beach and Dr. Tommy Green. Led by Matt Crawford, pastor of City Church Tallahassee east campus and Catalyst for SBC Cooperative Program, topics (and a selected answer) ranged from:
- What books are influencing you? (Dr. Green recommended “Kingdom Mindset” and “Kingdom Movement”)
- Multicampus trends (Dr. Scroggins said, “in some ways the multi-site movement is over. But multi-site has become many different things. We must create models and test them.”)
- Advice to the young demographic (Dr. Green shared personal stories that lead to, “Pastoring is a process. Becoming the key decision-maker takes time. Invest in the process.”)
- Changes in SBC institutions (Dr. Scroggins said, “passing the torch with our entities will probably happen to 30, 40, or 50 year olds. This will provide a couple positive decades of working together.”
- Send South Florida emphasis (Dr. Scroggins summary was, “I’m praying Luke 10:2 and working to raise up indigenous people from here to minister here.”)
Dr. Scroggins explained “we must pull people in and point them to Christ”. And yes, the next generation of Pastors is engaged and doing just that.