Resources for Ministry from the Center for Pastoral Leadership and Preaching

I have the privilege of directing the Southeastern Center for Pastoral Leadership and Preaching. The Center exists to equip and encourage pastors to lead healthy, disciple-making churches for the glory of God around the world. Our prayer is that it builds an intentional bridge between the seminary and the local church.

I believe leadership and ministry skills development are responsibilities of discipleship and must be an intentional part of every local church ministry. Through the Pastors Center, we are offering resources and training to our students, as well as to pastors and churches, to further equip them to serve well in the crucible of real life ministry. We are asking important questions like: Who should a pastor be? What should a pastor know? What should a pastor be able to do?

One aspect of what the Center does is to host and conduct various events and workshops in which our students can interact with pastors and leaders. These are normally topical and we have been careful to video them for a much bigger audience. I wanted to use this post today to call attention to what some of those specific resources are and how you can find and share them.

There are two or three general categories to the types of events we are conducting at this time. First we will conduct some campus wide events each year. Dr. Johnny Hunt is coming this fall on Thursday, October 29, 2015 to hold a special Timothy/Barnabas Legacy Conference just for our students, for example. The entire campus will be invited and involved.

We also host several smaller events throughout each semester such as our Authenticity Series: An Honest Look at the Life of a Pastor events. These are normally either interviews or panel discussions with a professor and a pastor discussing a real issue facing church leadership today. We often have a casual gathering of students present who have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the panelists about the subject at hand. Each of these are caught on video and available on the website. On the Center resources page you will find sessions featuring topics such as: expository preaching, how to deal with conflict in ministry, how to balance family time and ministry as well as upcoming features concerning the call to ministry and the pastoral search processes, church finances, how to evaluate your preaching, and many more.

We also host at least one EQUIP Workshop each semester during which we focus upon and deal with some significant ministry responsibility or activity pastors face. These live events include a panel of professors and pastors with experience in the subject area as well as very practical “walk-throughs” showing how to conduct key ministry opportunities. On the website you will find several resources surrounding the issue of marriage, divorce, remarriage and how to plan and conduct weddings for example. This includes a practical workshop in which we walk through the steps of wedding preparation and counseling as well as a special chapel service discussion that deals with the theological issues involved. New sessions in which Dr. Akin and others are interviewed about this topic are coming very soon.

We also just recorded our workshop for this semester on death, grief ministry and funeral preparation and it will be on the website very soon. Again very practical as well as theological and biblical discussions are a part of each workshop. Each workshop also has downloadable resources prepared by the panelists and leaders that can be gleaned from the website. Future topics include the Lord’s Supper and Baptism.

You will find all of these video and printable resources on the page linked below. Please go and check them out, view and download, and share this link with as many as possible!

Recommended Resources: http://www.sebts.edu/center_for_preaching/recommended%20resources.aspx

 

Pastorally Speaking: Johnny Hunt on Distinguishing between Good and Best

Editor’s Note: This blogpost by Johnny Hunt kicks off a new BtT series entitled “Pastorally Speaking.” In this series, SBC pastors will “think aloud” about matters related to pastoral leadership and church life. The posts will be brief, no more than a few paragraphs, and written for those of our readers who are training for, and actively involved in, local church ministry.

One great challenge in the Pastor’s life is leadership. I find it very difficult at times to distinguish between what’s good and what’s best. In a recent time of reflection, I began to think through life’s priorities and what I sense as God’s best for the ministry the Lord has entrusted to me. After solidifying these priorities I now find myself with another challenge. If I’m convinced of what is best, am I willing to give my best to these priorities? Hopefully by now you are curious as to what these priorities are. One thing is for sure, they will be different for every person.

After much prayer and conversation with my wife, the following serve as the driving priorities for at least the next 10 years.

1. Pastoring the FBC Woodstock

2. Mentoring 2 Pastors per year as long as I am Pastoring

3. Training Pastors/Staff through Timothy + Barnabas Ministry

4. Very active in Church Planting

5. Modeling Generosity

6. Touching Poverty

7. Training in our SBC Colleges and Seminaries

It is my prayer that these 7 priorities will be used by our Lord to guide my scheduling of the greatest resource entrusted to me, TIME. It is very easy to allow ourselves to be driven in lots of areas that don’t necessarily magnify our spiritual giftedness. Thus far these priorities are serving as a great guide to greater effectiveness and to accomplishing more with less.topodinmobile rpg games

The Story of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1950-2010 (Part Four)

Author’s note: This year marks the sixtieth anniversary of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. This is the final of four posts commemorating that history.

Every Classroom a Great Commission Classroom, 2004-Present

In January 2004, Daniel L. Akin was elected the sixth president of Southeastern Seminary. Akin, a professor of both theology and preaching, previously served as Southeastern’s dean of students from 1992-1996 before serving eight years as the academic vice president at Southern Seminary. Akin furthered Southeastern’s theological renewal by requiring all professors to sign the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy and the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in addition to the school’s two confessions of faith. In February 2005, Southeastern hosted its first annual 20/20 Collegiate Conference, an event that annually draws over 1000 college students. Also in 2005, Southeastern adopted a new campus master plan and completed construction on a new building to house the facilities and campus housing departments. That fall, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Southeastern sent several student teams to do construction work and outreach in the Gulf Coast and on the campus of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary; total gifts and labor amounted to over $750,000. In 2006, Southeastern furthered its longstanding commitment to missions and evangelism by adopting a new institutional mission statement: Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20). The seminary’s informal motto became “every classroom a Great Commission classroom.”

In recent years, Southeastern has continued to educate students and develop creative new initiatives. In 2006, Southeastern established the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture in honor of longtime academic vice president Bush, who passed away in 2008 following a bout with cancer. Southeastern also began cultivating a number of international partnerships dedicated to helping provide theological education to pastors and other church leaders in the Majority World. In 2008, the seminary opened Patterson Hall, a classroom and office building named in honor of Paige and Dorothy Patterson. Patterson Hall houses the Center for Faith and Culture, The College at Southeastern, and the school’s doctoral programs. Also in 2008, Southeastern launched an official faculty blog titled “Between the Times” (http://www.betweenthetimes.com). During Akin’s tenure, Southeastern has added two additional endowed chairs: the Richard and Gina Headrick Chair of World and Missions (2007), occupied by Bruce Ashford, and the Johnny Hunt Chair of Biblical Preaching (2010), presently held by Greg Heisler. In 2009, Southeastern entered into an ongoing partnership with 9Marks Ministries to host a series of annual conferences promoting gospel renewal and local church health. After a twenty-five year run, Faith and Mission was disbanded in 2008 and was replaced in 2010 with a new refereed scholarly journal titled Southeastern Theological Review.

During Akin’s tenure, non-residential education opportunities have been significantly expanded to include online, extension, and hybrid course offerings in almost every degree program. Akin has also announced an initiative for Southeastern to partner with at least one hundred local church “equipping centers” by the year 2015. Students will be able to receive a significant portion of their seminary education through local church internships and creative course delivery systems. In part because of Southeastern’s Great Commission priorities, the seminary has been at the forefront of advocating a Great Commission Resurgence in the SBC. This movement, championed by Akin and recent SBC president and Southeastern alumnus Johnny Hunt, intends to build upon the theological renaissance of the previous generation by prioritizing evangelism and church planting among unreached people groups in foreign nations and underserved regions in North America.

As of fall 2010, Southeastern Seminary has a total enrollment of almost 2700 students. Thousands of Southeastern graduates serve as pastors and other staff in Southern Baptist churches and other types of congregations. Approximately five hundred Southeastern students and graduates currently serve as foreign missionaries, the vast majority through the International Mission Board. Dozens of graduates serve as North American church planters in urban centers such as Boston, Chicago, Tampa, Atlanta, Richmond, and Nashville, as well as underserved rural areas in the Midwest and New England. Almost one hundred students have been awarded the Doctor of Philosophy and now serve in seminaries, colleges, pastorates, and denominational leadership positions all over the world. Hundreds of Southeastern students participate annually in short-term mission trips sponsored by the seminary or local churches. Numerous Southeastern professors regularly lead mission trips or teach short-term in overseas settings. God has been very gracious to Southeastern. Should the Lord tarry, it is our hope for sixty more years of “equipping students to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission.”