Wednesday, August 24, the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana (SCBI) had the first Generational Pastors Connection hosted by Oak Park Baptist Church in Jeffersonville. We see time and time again that high school students graduate from church when they graduate from high school. What we have learned through experience and research is how vital an older generation within the church is to change the narrative. In a time where pastors are rapidly leaving the ministry, I believe we get to see an older generation of pastors investing in the younger generation of pastors to help pastors remain in their call for a lifetime.
Dr. Ryan Strother and his longtime mentor and confidant, Lawrence Combs, shared how the Lord brought them together and the long-lasting impact of their friendship. One thing that Dr. Strother referred to was how he could call Lawrence anytime and he was there. They talked about “their” booth where they sat at the same restaurant on numerous occasions. They each understood that everything discussed in that booth was just between them.
Terry Thompson, a longtime pastor of Rock Point, shared about how he successfully “passed the baton” to the next pastor, Jeff Hoenshell. Thompson had the vision and called his successor one and a half years before the transition to have quality time to do so. To that, I say, “Well done!” Thompson is now leading a ministry called Small Church USA that encourages and strengthens pastors, pastors’ wives, and churches to revitalized health. SCBI is now in partnership with Small Church USA to scholarship pastors for leader cohorts. Healthier pastors lead to healthier churches, and we’re grateful to partner to encourage and strengthen our pastors.
Dr. Al Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, invested well into the pastors at Generational Pastors Connection. Can you imagine the impact Dr. Mohler has made and will make through the years in the lives of young pastors? Hearing him talk about the impact that his dad made in many young men from a supermarket was powerful. How much more should we in ministry be training up the next generation of pastors? Dr. Mohler talked about how a small number of four-star generals are in the military in comparison to a much larger number of privates, sergeants, and lieutenants. We need to invest in training up the best privates, sergeants, and lieutenants in the Army of the Lord, all doing his or her job for the advancement of the Kingdom.
April 27, 2023, SCBI will host a second Generational Pastors Connection in the northern part of the state. We are excited to host Dr. Adam Greenway, President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will be our speaker. Follow us at scbi.org for more information.