In a recent article, Thom Rainer formally posed the question many churches have been asking recently: “Where have all the student pastors gone?”* While Dr. Rainer provides several demographic and practical reasons to help us understand the trend, the fact remains that youth pastors are increasingly hard to find. As with any resource in short supply, it becomes even more vital to care for and protect that resource. Enter, the SBC of Virginia Student Pastor Retreat.
Held at The Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia, the Student Pastor Family Retreat, brought student pastors and their families from across the Commonwealth to be challenged, encouraged and given the opportunity to rest in the Lord. Keynote speaker Mac Cockrell of Life Action Ministries led discussions with student pastors and Donna Paulk, SBC of Virginia Women’s Ministry Strategist, led a breakout for the wives. SBC of Virginia NextGen Strategist Shawn Ames noted: “I’m so glad to work with a network of churches that places a high value on youth pastors and their families. They are precious resources to God’s Kingdom, and more and more in short supply.”
Mike Camire, Pastor of Students, College and Global Missions at Parkway Baptist Church in Mosely, Virginia, commented, “It’s just a great time away with my family, but then also connecting with other student pastors and their families from the state. I have really made some lifelong relationships here…being fed and encouraged by the program that is done here as well.”
Ross Riley, the Associate Pastor of Children and Youth at Shermont Baptist in Danville, Virginia, reflected, “I love that this time there was that intentional push for my wife [to interact with the network of youth pastors and their families], and she got to connect with other folks [of like mindedness] here….”
SBC of Virginia partners with local churches to provide this ministry at a more affordable price for the lead youth ministry person at each SBCV church. The Student Pastor Family Retreat has become a perennial favorite and is an ongoing demonstration of the value of our Gospel partnership. After all, we can do more together for youth pastors and their families than we can do alone.
DID YOU KNOW?
SBC of Virginia has a partnership with Lifeway Students to provide ongoing training for youth pastors at a discounted price — whether you’re a volunteer or professional. Check it out at sbcv.org/studentpastor When registering, enter the discount code: “SBCV-SPN”
AUDIO FROM THE SESSIONS — IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…
Audio from the sessions are available for download at sbcv.org/spfr
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