GLEN CARBON, Ill.—Every month several southern Illinois pastors who serve with the Illinois-Missouri Association of Regular Baptist Churches meet for fellowship and encouragement. Joining them are a few like-minded local pastors. On Feb. 22 the group met at New Covenant Church.

Bob McNutt, pastor of New Covenant Church, had arranged for Mike Hess, GARBC national representative, to speak. Just the day before, he had preached during the church’s worship service. Now, speaking to the pastors in the fellowship meeting, he addressed the need for pastors to encourage each other.

“It was such a needed topic, especially in the days we are ministering in,” says Tim Yankee, pastor of First Baptist Church, Shelbyville, Illinois. “I believe very strongly that as pastors, we need each other for encouragement, fellowship, and friendship.”

“So often in ministry we may feel as if we are alone and that no one else experiences the struggles in ministry like we do. By being a part of a pastors’ fellowship, we soon realize this is truly not the case. We have each other as a sounding board. Pastors understand pastors like no other, and that is so beneficial to us as we move forward in these challenging days.”

Tim had been invited to attend the event as a guest. He normally attends a monthly fellowship for central Illinois pastors at Riverside Baptist Church in Decatur. That meeting “is always a great time as we pray for and with one another,” he says.

“The opportunity to be able to talk and discuss ministry ideas and challenges is so refreshing, and it also keeps us sharp, as we can share resources and be accountable to one another in a sense, even in our personal spiritual growth. The Bible calls this ‘iron sharpening iron.’

“I truly look forward to our times together for spiritual encouragement, and it is just plain good medicine to be able to laugh together! It is also a great time of being reminded of how God is still at work as we share the praises and blessings of our churches.”