Russell—Lisa Wilcox just got her batteries recharged.
A worship ministries assistant at First Baptist Church of Russell, she intends to spend more time getting to know those who serve with her thanks to what she learned at an Equip training conference this week.
Wilcox attended a “Dos and Don’ts of Music Ministry” workshop led by Kentucky Baptist Convention Worship/Music Consultant Jason Stewart. It is one of 20 one-hour sessions offered at the biennial seminars, which are meeting in eight locations across the commonwealth during August.
“He had a lot of great things to say about leading your people,” said Wilcox, the wife of First Baptist’s worship and music minister. “He talked a lot about ministering to your people and getting to know them—and how if you focus on all the logistics of your ministry, you will lose your people. But if you focus on your people, they’ll help you take care of the logistics.”
Wilcox was one of nearly 300 Kentucky Baptists who attended the first two Equip conferences in Prestonsburg and Russell. The third met this past Thursday night at Parkway Baptist Church in Bardstown.
Steve Rice, KBC’s church consulting and revitalization team leader, said turnouts thus far make it likely the tour will equal or surpass the 1,000 convention members trained in 2014.
Equip drew more than 180 participants to Russell.
“It creates a lot of excitement for people,” Rice said of the turnout and the obvious enthusiasm of attendees. “You want the church to feel full.”
Equip includes workshops for pastors, including one on breaking attendance barriers in smaller churches. Pastors attending the workshop receive a 36-page booklet that lists 10 common barriers and suggestions for overcoming each. Another of timely interest reviews developing a security plan for your church.
However, Rice said most people who attend are lay leaders and the workshops are aimed at equipping them for ministry by making them more effective in their positions.
Central Baptist Church of Ashland youth leader George Crisp feels the workshop he attended will help him improve his teaching skills.
“It will help me engage students more in what I’m doing,” Crisp said, looking forward to his first time in the role.
Bob Quillen, youth pastor at Garner Baptist Church in Rush, said he took away some ideas from a workshop on recruiting, equipping and maintaining volunteers.
“We’re going to do some small group studies and Bible studies with youth leaders,” Quillen said. “Hopefully, we can equip them to better do their jobs.”
Another attractive feature of Equip is how meetings are geographically arranged so that attendees won’t have to drive more than an hour to a meeting.
“I’m glad they are starting to get (conferences) to where they’re more accessible,” said Marvin Boggs, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Flatwoods. “Some of the meetings they’ve had in the past have just been so far away.”
“I think it’s absolutely wonderful,” Wilcox added. “I didn’t expect this many people to be here. It’s great to have resources to teach leaders, but it’s also great to get people from different churches together to get to know each other.” (KBC)