In the fall of 2005, an affinity team of state missionary staff was formed to discover and implement strategies that address the health needs of pastors and staff in Tennessee Baptist Churches. In the spring of 2006, the team set four focus meetings across the state. Meetings were held in Jackson, Knoxville and two in Brentwood. One of the meetings in Brentwood was for church staff exclusively. Approximately 100 ministers attended these meetings.
The process used to facilitate dialog at these meetings was based on Luke 2:52: “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” The process explored spiritual, physical, sociological and emotional needs of pastors and staff. In response to the focus meetings, the affinity team was able to identify health needs which were addressed in seven breakout sessions at the annual meeting in November 2006. These meetings were well-attended and highly evaluated.
As a next step, periodically over the next several months, we will use the Church Health Matters pages in the Baptist & Reflector to explore three areas that surfaced in all of the focus meetings: Time Management, Mentoring and Networking. Additionally, in April we are launching an e-newsletter, which will pick up and expand on the material in the Church Health Matters pages. The frequency of the e-newsletter is yet to be determined. Our commitment is first and foremost to quality. Our prayer is that these articles will add value to you, both personally and vocationally.