Leadership Catalyst CABA Report – April, 2017
Dr. Josh Carter
Ronnie Floyd, the former president of the Southern Baptist Convention seems to advocate that our churches don’t necessarily suffer from bad leadership as much as they do from lack of forward leadership. Floyd says that forward leaders are those “who can cast a vision for a better future, inspire you to want to go there, and then lead you to experience it” Sadly, Floyd states, when it comes to the church today, forward leaders are missing in action. If we know this to be true, then what we do next is absolutely critical.
As the Leadership Catalyst for our association, my goal is first and foremost to continue to grow as a leader myself. One of my former pastors told me that a pastor can never lead anyone, or any congregation, further than he is himself. I believe forward leaders are growing leaders. And this has been my focus and our focus as an association as we have entered into 2017.
One of the ways that we have hoped to foster this growing of leaders has been through our “Why Preach Conference” on April 10-11. This conference brought in noted speakers, including Dr. Ken Weathersby and Dr. Herschael York to discuss and inspire the role of preaching in congregational life. This conference included worship led by a group of worship leaders within the association on Monday and Tuesday, as well as special breakouts for discussion around key pastoral leadership and preaching topics.
Another exciting leadership initiative has been to spark and foster new pastor networks through our association. We often say to our church members that we are better together than we are apart but then fail to apply this practice in our own lives. We believe pastors need a place to grow, share ideas, and even failures with one another. The next pastor leadership network meeting will be Tuesday, April 25 at 7:00 pm and will be hosted at Clough Pike Baptist. Dr. Mark Caner, who is president of a business unit for a fortune 500 company in Cincinnati, will be speaking to us about engaging Millennials in the church. Brent Cunningham, pastor of Bridgeway Baptist Church will be leading the pastor’s network on the East Side of Cincinnati and we are looking for other pastors to step-up to start or share about other similar groups around Cincinnati.
In addition to focusing on pastoral leadership growth in Cincinnati our association desires to see sparks in leadership in the areas of youth ministry, collegiate ministry, and women’s ministry. Our associational youth ministry leadership team is led by Steve Siekbert, pastor of First Baptist Church Felicity. Our associational collegiate ministry is led by Ken Dillard and our associational women’s ministry is led by Joanne Hopkins.
As we look around our city and our association, what we know is that God is still raising up leaders, in our churches, our youth groups, on our college campuses, and even behind our pulpits. Wherever we are, in our city and in the lifespan of our ministry, whether we are full-time, bi-vocational, church planters, or other, leadership is waiting on us. The question is, are we ready to move forward?