Pastors, chaplains, Bible teachers, seminary students, administrators and their families from across Mid-America will be joining thousands of others in Lexington, Kentucky, from June 19-22 for the North American Division CALLED Pastors’ Family Convention. This event will focus on ministering to the personal and professional needs of pastors, their spouses and children. 

Throughout the convention topics that pastors and their families face (based on recent NAD-wide research) will be addressed. The study identified issues such as personal finances, marital resilience and intimacy, raising children, church conflict, unrealistic expectations and living in a perceived glass house. Each general session will offer a short, compelling focus on these and other relevant topics, as well as a variety of presentations to offer solutions and help discover better ways to create wholeness. This is part of a greater call to action on the part of many entities of our church organization to intervene and reduce stressors associated with pastoral roles, expectations and family life.

Gifted communicators of the gospel and professional speakers will address best practices through preaching and teaching. The list of speakers for the general sessions and breakouts reads like a “who’s who” list of great Adventist presenters. Attendees will be encouraged and informed with TED-talk style presentations and inspiring worship. In strategic manner, each general session and breakout will emphasize one or more of the seven core qualities of effective pastors, explore discoveries regarding pastoral health, and examine issues pastoral families face—all with the theme of resilience. There will also be testimonials from pastors who will share with their colleagues in their own words the highs and lows of their recent ministry experience.

Morning and evening worship time will be a foretaste of heaven as the whole group gathers for intentional, authentic worship and communion with Jesus. Through focused prayer, singing, praise and testimonials, this diverse gathering will seek the unified experience of the glory of God through biblical instruction and Spirit-filled fellowship. Imagine the sights and sounds of pastors and their families united in worship together with approximately 7,000 of their colleagues and friends!

In past times, pastoring was among the healthiest of professions in America. However, there is now increasing concern for pastors regarding the mental and physical effects of stress and overwork as evidenced by an increase in chronic diseases. In a partnership of Ministerial and Health Ministries, the “pastors health and wellness initiative” will provide a comprehensive offering of education, individual and group activities, health screenings, information on diet, as well as addressing topics of grief and addiction recovery support. Known as Adventist HealthyYOU, these helpful resources will continue to support pastors and their families following the CALLED convention.

A huge highlight of the CALLED Pastors’ Family Convention in Lexington will be the Evangelism Shark Tank, which will take place each night of the convention following the general session. At the Shark Tank, pastors will present to a panel of judges their church’s innovative and effective evangelism and missional outreach initiatives. A total of $120,000 will be awarded for the top ideas and initiatives, as chosen by the panel. The awarded funds will go directly to the churches for immediate implementation and we can’t wait to see what results the Lord brings from these creative ideas.

As with any large event, there are plenty of logistical issues that can hinder or distract, but I invite you to pray for your pastor, this convention, and for the Holy Spirit to be poured out in great measure upon each presenter and attendee. 

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