About 30 pastors from across the Midwest came together to hear preaching, attend workshops focused on ministry helps, and worship God in singing.
After a barbeque dinner, the pastors met in the auditorium, where Rollie Lindstrom, worship pastor at Harvest Baptist, led the group in an hour of praise with singing worship music and reading Scripture. During the worship times, Pastor Mike Augburger of Willow Creek Baptist, West Des Moines, Iowa, invited the men to join him by taking turns giving praise to God through prayer and thanksgiving.
In a message on the importance of balancing time, Pastor Scott Poling of Harvest Baptist encouraged the men to make sure they were first spending time with the Father, and not involved in activities that take them away from studying. Referring to the division of labor in Acts 6:1–4, Poling said, “You don’t need to be serving tables. Other people can do that. You’re the cook! You need to get back in the kitchen where you are needed most.”
He also exhorted the men to prioritize what is most important and completely delegate lesser responsibilities. He encouraged pastors to listen to laymen and business leaders in their churches who have expertise, and let other leaders lead. “You need to let people fulfill their ministry roles. You should not be the only one making every decision. If you do, you will become the bottleneck of God’s blessing.”
Last, Poling challenged the men to stop comparing themselves to other ministers and other ministries. He reminded them that success is not measured in church buildings, budgets, baptisms, or the number of people in the seats. Pointing to Jesus’ response to Peter’s question in John 21:21, “But Lord, what about this man?” Poling said, “Keep your nose out of other pastors’ business and follow Jesus!”
The second day of the conference was filled with a series of back-to-back workshops that repeated the same speakers and topics. Those included:
- “Leading through Change” by Ken Floyd, executive director of the Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches
- “Developing Leaders in Your Church” by Jon Jenks, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
- “Godly Leaders Lead a Balanced Life” by John Greening, GARBC national representative
- “Leading Teens to Lead Teens” by Jeff Wood
- “The ‘Leading’ of Believers in Worship” by Cody Crigger, worship pastor of Willow Creek Baptist Church, West Des Moines, Iowa
- “Leading in Your Preaching” by Mike Augsburger, pastor of Willow Creek Baptist Church, West Des Moines, Iowa
Regional Connection is a gathering of ministry teams and pastors of regional GARBC churches who want to connect for worship and growth.