Pastor Well – A Crash Course in Pastoral Ministry

Come to the well and be refreshed!

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What: A crash course in pastoral ministry
Where: Buck Run Baptist Church, 3894 Georgetown Road, Frankfort, KY
When: Monday-Tuesday December 16-17, 8:30am-3:30pm
Cost: FREE!
Lodging: Free upon request in homes (limited availability), local hotels

As much as I love preaching, perhaps my favorite of all the courses I teach at Southern Seminary is my 40301 Pastoral Ministry course that I have taught for 17 years. Since I grew up a pastor's son, am father to a pastor, and serve as a pastor, I obviously have a love for pastors and, even more, a love for the Lord's church.

Next Monday and Tuesday, December 16 and 17, the media folks at Southern are coming to Buck Run to film me teaching the content of that course for future online use. It's much easier to teach and to be engaging if I have a live audience, so I am inviting anyone who wants to come for those two days to make a trip to Buck Run, enjoy our hospitality, and draw from the Pastor Well so you can, um, pastor well. No academic credit is being offered for being in the audience, but you get the content of the course lectures. If you desire to serve as a pastor or if you are a pastor in need of some new ideas and challenges, this will be a great opportunity.

We'll talk about church discipline, how to baptize, working with staff, how to build a culture of generosity and grace, how to deal with a search committee. Things we aren't even planning will come up. And if you come, you can submit some questions for me to answer if they would be helpful. You can see below a partial list of things I will cover.

Some of the wonderful saints at Buck Run have volunteered to open their homes, and more will if I just ask, so if you want to come and need a place to stay, send my assistant, Tracy Hodges, an email at and we will do what we can. Or you are welcome to commute, to come for one day, or to make your own arrangements.

I hope to see you there!


Session 1: The Call to Ministry

The call is not a general to all Christians but a specific moving of the Holy Spirit.

The call is the intersection of desire, gifting, opportunity, and the testimony of the church.

The success and survival of your ministry depends on the strength of your calling.

Session 2: The Call to a Specific Ministry

The biblical emphasis is on doing the will of God more than knowing the will of God.

Friesen’s view of God’s will: sanctified common sense coupled with a passionate desire to honor the Lord in every situation.

          Christians also experience an inner witness of the Holy Spirit.

Session 3: Licensing and Ordination

Licensing is the church’s permission to exercise gifts to fulfill one’s calling.

Ordination is a formal and legal acknowledgment of one’s calling, competence, and conduct.

Session 4: Finding a place of service

Preparing and sharing resumes, making contacts, answering ads, getting recommendations and writing cover letters.

Dealing with search committees, what materials to ask for, what to provide, what questions to ask.

Session 5: Your first church

Be honest in evaluating expectations: are you going to plant your life here or is it a “learning church”?

Lower your expectations of them, raise them of yourself.

Hone your skills: preaching, people, prayer.

Session 6: Deacons

What they do, what they should be, biblical qualifications, function in the church

How to get them on your side, how to keep them focused

Rotation system vs. DFL (deacon for life)

Session 7: The Ordinances: Baptism

Ordinances are not sacraments, the four essentials of scriptural baptism, whose baptism does the church recognize

How to baptize

Session 8: The Ordinances: Communion

            The elements, who may partake (closed, close, open communion)

            How to serve, meaningful components

Session 9: Church Discipline

The three grounds for church discipline

How to practice discipline, the circle of confession and the circle of knowledge


Session 10: Weddings

            Developing a personal wedding policy, church use policy vs. officiating policy

            Premarital counseling, the rehearsal, the ceremony

Session 11: Funerals

Dealing with grief and bereavement, visitation

Conducting the service, sermons, the graveside

Session 12: Leadership

            The top ten mistakes leaders make (Finzel’s book)

Session 13: Personal Life

Maintaining a devotional life, personal purity

Marriage, family, parenting your children

Ten commandments for self and staff members

Session 14: Personal skills

Being a people person, making people feel important

Overcoming introversion

Getting the most out of your time, returning calls, thank you notes, keeping in touch, using social media for communication

Session 15: Leading through exposition

Developing a preaching plan

Using the Bible to move the church

Fostering a culture of generosity and grace

Session 16: Leading a church through change

Changing the church focus

The worship wars

Building projects, relocation, celebrating the past while embracing the future

Session 17: Leading in church business

            To moderate or not to moderate, Robert’s Rules of Order, handling conflict

Session 18: Church finances

Developing a church budget, the pastor’s involvement in church finances

Giving, cooperative program, Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, etc.

Church debt, capital campaigns

Session 19: Working with staff

            Searching, hiring, working with, leading, trusting, correcting, firing

Session 20: Evangelism

Developing a missional spirit

Using evangelism training programs, 8-touch system, connect teams, advertising

Using holidays and special events

Mission trips and their purposes

Session 21: Miscellaneous matters

Integrity in accepting members from other churches,

Allowing people to leave well

Leaving well