Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


Seminars, Retreats, Fellowships, and Conferences

  • Jim Townsley
  • Sep 16, 2015
There are so many conferences, seminars, and fellowships that a preacher could, if he chose to do so, attend one every week of the year. Attending them all would rob a preacher of many precious hours of time. No one could attend every meeting, fellowship, seminar, or conference  and be effective in starting a church. The pastor must be present, active, and working at building the church. If there are too many distractions to the church planter it will be detrimental to the success of building the church and the pastor cannot do what is necessary to be a pastor. There are more important things that must be done in a new church than attend many day long meetings and seminars.
Although attending too many meetings and seminars may be detrimental to the ministry, there are a limited number of special meetings that can be helpful for a young preacher to attend so that he can sharpen his abilities and increase his vision. While attending too many meetings can be detrimental, attending a few choice meetings and be greatly beneficial. In certain regions of the country there are strong local fellowships that meet monthly and often they will be an encouragement to a new pastor. Some of these preachers from the local fellowship may help raise funds for a new church and as they become aware of the needs of this new church they will become prayer supporters. Sometimes preacher's fellowships can be discouraging and in these situations it would be wise to discontinue attending these meetings and find meetings that are helpful and uplifting. As a word of warning, remaining isolated from other preachers may create an independence that will limit the pastor's development and the church's ability to grow. Rubbing shoulders with godly men who have served faithfully in the community can be extremely valuable.
In addition, choosing one or two major conferences during the year can prove to be greatly beneficial.
Conferences that emphasize soul-winning, church growth, and discipleship can give you valuable ideas, encouragement, and fellowship. Not only may it help you, but your wife also can be encouraged by Christian fellowship with other pastor's wives. No man is self-made; we all need help from other godly Christians. Proverbs teaches us that iron sharpeneth iron. Also, the Scriptures teach us that we must come apart for awhile to rest, recharge our spiritual batteries, and refresh our vision. "And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. - - Mark 6:31 
Building the church is the primary goal of a church planter, but a limited number of encouraging meetings and informative conferences will be profitable for the growth and maturity of both the pastor, his wife, and the new church. But be careful. There are many conferences promoted by men from different theological persuasions and that have a differing philosophy of ministry. It is difficult for young men to be discerning and exposure to the wrong people could lead to a change of philosophy or even a change in doctrine that will inhibit the future of the church. Remember, all that glitters is not gold. The devil can be persuasive and give the appearance as an angel of light, but he is still the enemy of God and the enemy of every believer. There are many opportunities to find encouragement from men who are fundamental in the faith. Every preacher needs to be preached to once in awhile. Giving out information all the time requires taking in information to remain fresh and focused. Attending a limited number of special meetings can result in greater growth and greater health of the new church.