Lexington—Nearly 140 couples, Kentucky Baptist pastors and their wives, gathered on February 1-3 for a time of refreshment, encouragement, and fellowship for the 20th annual Shepherding the Shepherding retreat.
“When the Apostle Paul sent for the Ephesian elders to meet him in Miletus (Acts 20), he reminded them of the necessity to ‘keep watch’ over their flocks, but to also keep watch over themselves,” Steve Rice, the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s church consulting and revitalization team leader, said. “The Shepherding conference is designed with that in mind.”
Shepherding is hosted by the Kentucky Baptist Convention in partnership with Baptist Health. This year, at least three couples who have attended each year for the past two decades were in attendance.
Music was provided by Bo Warren, worship pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington. Timothy Beougher, pastor of West Broadway Baptist in Louisville, Nathaniel Bishop, pastor of Forest Baptist in Louisville, and Greg Faulls, pastor of Bellevue Baptist in Owensboro preached during the plenary sessions.
Katie Orr, author, speaker and pastor’s wife at Pioneer Baptist in Harrodsburg, led a session exclusively for ladies titled “Look to the Lord: My Helper and Keeper.” Entertainment on Thursday night was presented by Dennis Swanberg, America’s “minister of encouragement.” He kept his audience laughing, but also used his humor to drive home truths all pastors need to be reminded of.
In addition, six breakout sessions were led by the main speakers as well as Dwight Schettler, president of ambassadors of reconciliation, and Trent Holbert, pastor Epoch Fellowship in Asheville, North Carolina. Topics included “Conflict Resolution vs. Reconciliation,” “Living Fit for the Kingdom,” and “Looking for Help in All the Wrong Places?”
Throughout the weekend, pastors were encouraged to make intentional connections with their regional consultants over coffee during the “Coffee and Connections” time.
“We love champions, but God loves servants,” Nate Bishop said during his message, “The heart of a servant: When the way up is dying.”
Referencing John 13:1-11, he said the heart of a servant is “motivated by love,” “moves out of acceptance,” and is “marked by humility.”
“When you understand who you are and whose you are, it frees you up to be a servant,” he said. “The gospel tells me I have nothing to offer in the first place.”
Bishop noted that many desire to serve on the same level as another or to serve from above another person. Conversely, “A true servant serves from below,” he added.
Beougher spoke on “Defeating discouragement,” and presented four key sources of discouragement: “fatigue,” “frustration,” “fault finders,” and “fear.” Speaking from Nehemiah 4, he said, “As soon as God’s work begins, Satan’s opposition starts up.”
However, he said that this passage also offered a solution. “Analyze the situation,” “Get busy working,” and “Cultivate supportive relationships,” he challenged.
Beougher encouraged, “Brothers and sisters…our labor in the Lord is not in vain. We labor for the glorified Lord… the King of kings.”
Greg Faulls wrapped up the weekend with a sermon titled “Time to believe for more.”
For more information on Shepherding 2019, contact Cheryl.Frerman@kybaptist.org. (WR)