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Pastors who ‘do it all’ in small churches get toolbox how-to’s at Ridgecrest


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Annual Church Profile (ACP) conducted by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention shows that nearly 26,000 of the SBC’s 43,000-plus churches have an attendance of fewer than 125 people – an indication that most pastors probably are the lone staff member.

With this in mind, LifeWay sponsored the “Toolbox for the Smaller Church Pastor and his Wife” earlier this year at LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center near Asheville, N.C., with about 80 people from 12 states in attendance.

Breakout sessions for the pastors included Effective Leadership; Using Technology in Worship; Using Online Learning in Your People Development Strategy; Blending Hymns and Praise Choruses for Worship; Practical Ideas for Discipling Your People in Prayer; and Dealing with Church Conflict.

The wives’ topics included sessions on understanding their husbands’ inner needs and struggles as a pastor and living in the fishbowl that is a pastor’s family. The wives also were treated to some spa time, getting some well-deserved pampering from local beauty consultants.

Tim Dowdy, pastor of Eagle’s Landing Baptist Church in McDonough, reminded the pastors that God has a plan for them and their ministry.

“God put you in the place where you are,” Dowdy said. “He could have put you any place at any time in history, but He chose here and now for you. You are uniquely qualified and set apart by Him to serve where you are. So, don’t be afraid to lead!”