Ministers’ Conference as we know it today had it’s beginnings many years ago as the“preachers’ prayer retreat” which was held at different locations such as Mt. Zion Bible School and Kansas City College and Bible School. In more recent years, under the direction of Home Missions, it became apparent there was a need for a “minister and spouse get away.” According to many pastors it has become one of the highlights of the calendar year. Usually held in the month of September, it has been at Windermere Christian Conference Center near Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, for a number of years. Last year, 2015, we are moved to Lake Williamson Christian Conference Center north of St. Louis, MO about 70 miles. This will be our location for the 2016 Conference as well.
Ministers’ Conference is an opportunity for the minister and spouse to renew and recharge for ministry. Guest speakers usually include church leaders from outside our Constituency, in addition to our men and women leading workshops. Typically there are break-out sessions for the men and women. Delicious meals and comfortable lodging are provided with time between sessions for fellowship among colleagues and alone time for couples. The Home Mission Department encourages churches to provide this opportunity to their pastors with no out of pocket expenses, completely underwritten by the local church. Churches believe it is one of the greatest investments they can make in the ongoing of their ministries. Pastors receive encouragement, inspiration, and tools to take back with them to help them minister to their people and reach their communities for Christ.
~~~ The dates for Ministers’ Conference are September 13-15. The evangelist this year will be Dr. James Keaton. Plan now to come! ~~~
As I moved from door to door in my neighborhood visitation I heard the vicious barking of what sounded like a huge dog getting closer. Finally, I arrived at the residence which was surrounded by a strong fence with numerous “Beware of the Dog” signs. They were posted for a good reason. It did not take long for me to decide to skip this house.
The growling dog that lunged at me was restrained by a heavy chain. I suppose that when it was asleep it did not realize that its freedom was limited. The dog dish was close so when it approached to eat its food it drug its chain without concern. It was only when it tried to reach me that it was brought to the end of its false understanding of freedom by the stout chain and fence.
Sin is much like this. People are bound but don’t seem to realize their restraint. It is only when we find true freedom in Christ that we realize how sin has confined us. It is then that we understand deliverance. “The truth,” Jesus said, “shall make you free” (John 8:32)
by Dr. Gayle Woods
The birth of a baby giraffe holds some fascinating lessons for us. The mother goes to a spot where there are no bushes, just flat dirt. As the baby is born it falls ten or twelve feet. When the baby hits the ground, it rolls over and just lies there with legs all curled up under it. The mother positions herself over the baby to protect it from predators, and seeing none, she kicks the baby. It flies across the dirt head over heels. If the baby does not stand up, the mother will go over and kick it again, sending it sprawling. This will happen over and over again until the baby finally stands up. The mother goes over and sends it flying again. She knows that the baby needs to learn, and it needs to remember, how to stand so it can save itself later in a time of danger. She kicks it again, not because she is having a bad hair day, but because she wants her baby to remember. But isn’t it better to learn that way than try and learn with a lion hot on your tail? How could a God who supposedly loves us let us go through terrible times? That is very simple. God loves us so much He teaches us lessons that will help us survive during the difficult times of life.
by Dr. Gayle Woods