THE VILLAGES, Fla.—The Sunshine Baptist Fellowship held its Fall Conference at Tri County Baptist Church Oct. 10–12.
Preconference activities included an evening social, a golf scramble, and a trolley ride through The Villages. Then the guests gathered in the church auditorium for Bible teaching and an annual meeting.
Ron and Rodetta Cook, founders of Care for Pastors, explored the theme “How to Finish Well without Driving Yourself and Others Crazy.” In four sessions (plus a women’s Q and A with Rodetta) the couple spoke about the unique stresses and struggles that pastors and other ministry workers, as well as their spouses and families, experience today.
“Pastors experience a unique set of stressors most people do not encounter in their career,” the Cooks say. “There is certainly a draining aspect to pastoral ministry. The nature of the ministry is giving. Obviously, if you’re not filling up, you run the risk of giving more than you have to give. The well runs dry.”
Care for Pastors is a safe place for ministry workers and their spouses and children to find encouragement and counsel, both on-site in Leesburg, Florida, and virtually. The Cooks, who were in ministry for 30 years before starting Care for Pastors in 2011, are thankful to have helped thousands of families finish their ministry journeys well.
The Cooks’ conference sessions were timely, as October is Pastor Appreciation Month. “More than ever,” the couple says on their Facebook page, “we need to be praying for our pastors, ministry leaders, and their families. They need to be reminded of how loved and appreciated they are.”
In addition to hearing from the Cooks, guests played a Bible trivia game; enjoyed a courtyard lunch provided by Faith Baptist Mission, a missions agency based at Faith Baptist Church, Winter Haven, Florida; and browsed displays from ministries, including Regular Baptist Press.