To ensure the health of the church by going straight to its foundation, LifeWay Christian Recourses held a Pastor Date Night on Thursday, January 31st for the Central Region of the Florida Baptist Convention.The two-hour, complementary event for local pastors and their wives had one chief objective – to strengthen the spiritual and emotional wellness of their relationship, thus effecting their ministry relationships.
“The purpose of LifeWay’s Pastor Date Night is to help pastors win at church and home. Since the health of the church is tied to the health of the pastor, we want to help pastors finish strong later by helping them stay healthy now,” said LifeWay Christian Resources, Facts and Trends.
Over 50 couples were treated to a fun evening of fellowship, a delicious dinner, and generous gifts and resources. Most importantly, the pastors and their wives were showered with love, reassurance, and appreciation during the event that was sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources, Florida Baptist Convention, Suncoast Baptist Association, and the Tampa Bay Association.
Shortly after a time of fellowship and dinner, a panel of three ministry couples fielded difficult questions regarding life, ministry, and the secret of how to balance the two. The three couples on this panel were: Mark and Janet Dance of LifeWay Christian Recourses (Nashville, TN), William (Willy) and Cheryl Rice of Calvary Church (Clearwater, FL), and Dan and Angie Reidof Journey Church (Brandon FL).The questions for the panel speakers were submitted via text from the pastors and their wives. This clever format allowed complete anonymity and an element of curiosity and enthusiasm.
“The team of three couples were an incredibly open and transparent panel regarding their pastoral journey,” said Pastor Jeffery Singletary, Regional Catalyst for the Central Region at the Florida Baptist Convention. Singletary went on to describe the date night as a “phenomenal evening of blessings and encouragement.”
“God sovereignly aligns the speakers with those in the audience, as they were all in the exact same stages of life as many in attendance,” said Dr. Jeremy Westbrook, Lead Missional Strategist at Suncoast Baptist Association and Senior Associate Pastor of Calvary Church in Clearwater, Florida. Dr. Westbrook went on to describe the event’s concentration on the role of a pastor’s wife with enthusiasm, “Your greatest ‘staff member’ is your spouse and the church is only as healthy as its pastor and wife. The wife is the unsung hero, working behind the scenes. The evening concentrated heavily on the pastor, wife, and their relationship. They were all prayed for, blessing requests were received, and everyone was loved on.”
There is no doubt that the ministry couples, wives specifically, left the date night feeling their worth and value made tangible through the ministry done that evening. In closing, Dr. Westbrook said, “The best part of the night was seeing the wives leaving with a smile and laughing.”
Are you interested in hosting a Date Night for up to 50 ministry couples? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Brandi Radella, Contributor, FBC Writers’ Network, March 7, 2019