Illinois Baptist 05 30 2016 E Edition Page 3 3 May 30, 2016 THE TICKER Follow the latest Illinois Baptist news NEWS SBC Meeting in St. Louis Pre-registration urged Messengers, exhibitors and guests to the South- ern Baptist Convention in St. Louis must be regis- tered and properly badged for entrance into the gen- eral sessions June 14-15. Messengers can register online by clicking on the Messengers/Guest tab at The SBC constitution and bylaws were amended last year to broaden messenger representation. Each cooperating church that contributes to convention causes during the preceding fiscal year now auto- matically qualifies for two messengers; previous rules allowed for one messenger. Additionally, the convention will recognize 10 ad- ditional messengers from a cooperating church un- der one of the following options: One additional messenger for each full percent of the churchs undesignated receipts contributed during the fiscal year preceding through the Cooper- ative Program, and/or through the Executive Com- mittee for convention causes, and/or to any conven- tion entity. One additional messenger for each $6,000 the church contributes in the preceding year through the normative combination of the Cooperative Pro- fram, designated gifts through the Executive Com- mittee for convention causes, or to any SBC entity. Woodman said many bivos are highly educated and they intend to serve a church and have another job most of their lives. Still, bivocational pastors need encouragement. Page told conference attendees of a letter he once received from a frustrated pastor. I am alone, the pastor wrote. He went on to de- scribe his bleak ministry situation and said, I doubt you will even read this letter because you probably have a secretary to read your mail. The letter writer even pointed out that he was penning the letter by hand because he didnt have an assistant or a computer. He closed with his phone number but said he didnt expect a return call. Page said he picked up the phone and called the surprised pastor to encourage him and let him know he was not alone. He lis- tened to his hurts and he arranged for the pastors state convention executive director and associational director of missions to also reach out to him. In bivocational ministry you will walk through valleys, Page said in Hannibal. There will be times when God will wrap his loving arms around you and he will give you rest. In I Samuel 3, Page preached, God called the young prophet Samuel by name. God calls and he knows your name. Learn to rest in that call. The Walmart pastor Ray Gilder, national coordinator of the BSCLN, agreed the term bivocational pas- tor has been a chokehold for many. But, most people are no longer averse to the term, he said. With church attendance declining, having a part-time pastor is the only reality for many congregations running 75 or less. Bivocation- al ministry is becoming more the norm for Southern Baptist churches. Some estimates say bivocational pastors lead 50-60% of SBC churches, and in rural associations, it may be as high as 70-80%. Ken Barlow, a Decatur native and pastor of Bethany Baptist Church, Keokuk, Iowa, has worked at Walmart during much of his pastoral ministry. He thinks it added value to his service to the kingdom of God. I kind of became the Walmart pastor, he said. He did some funerals and a couple of weddings for employees at the Burlington, Iowa, store. One wedding was for a military couple who were being deployed to Iraq dur- ing the Gulf War. They held the ceremony in the Walmart garden center with Barlow of- iciating. Getting outside the walls of the church building was one of the best aspects of being bivocational, Barlow said. That goes for church members too, said Dale Noe , former pastor of Victory Rock Fellowship Church in Marengo, Ill. In a breakout session co-led with Woodman, Noe spoke of the need for smaller membership churches to be focused outwardly instead of inside the walls of their church. Both Noe and Woodman agreed an effective pastor needs to be a leader and not just a manager. Find a niche ministry and do it well. Illinois pastor John Shelton said he sees the benefit of bivocational ministry in that he has been able to see some smaller churches experience a real turnaound in ministry. Shelton currently serves as interim pas- tor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Piasa. He is also parts manager for a tractor dealership in Jerseyville. Shelton has ministered in the Jerseyville area since he returned after col- lege 30 years ago. When I go into a job interview, I let them know that I am a pastor and there will be times Ill have to take off and go do a funer- al, Shelton said. I say, If that doesnt work you should hire someone else. Shelton said most of his employers are supportive of him being a part-time pastor in addition to their employment. Being bivocational has allowed me some freedom to minister and yet have a place in the community as well. For more information about the Bivoca- tional and Small Church Leadership Net- work, go to Richard Nations is director of missions for Thousand Hills Baptist Association in Kirksville, Mo. Conference race Two pastors have announced they will run for the presiden- cy of the 2017 SBC Pastors Conference. John Avant , pas- tor of First Baptist Church Concord in Knoxville, Tenn., and Dave Miller , pastor of Southern Hills Baptist Church in Sioux City, Iowa, will be nominated to lead the Pastors Conference that convenes next summer in Phoenix. Avant, a former vice president for evangelization at the North American Mission Board, has pastored seven churches in Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas. He has pastored First Baptist Concord since 2013, leading the congregation in plans to launch a second campus in August. Miller is a former SBC second vice president and Baptist Convention of Iowa president, and has pas- tored churches in Virginia and Iowa. His nomination was first mentioned publicly in a May 2 blog post by a group of 10 Southern Baptist pastors who refer to themselves as Voices for a New Baptist Future. All 10 are contributors to the SBC Voices blog, of which Miller is editor. - Baptist Press Continued from page 1 TABLE TALK Executive Committee President Frank Page (left) shared pictures of his grandkids with Woodman and Arkansas bivocational ministry specialist Lynn Riley during a conference meal. AVANT MILLER

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