By Sharon Mager
Myersville, MD––The rain and chill didn’t dampen the enthusiasm at the As Iron Sharpens Iron Pastors Appreciation Golf Tournament on April 29 at Musket Ridge Golf Course in Myersville, Md. The Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware sponsored the event as an opportunity to encourage and show appreciation and love to pastors, and to provide an opportunity to fellowship and network.
BCM/D and Skycroft Conference Center staff members served as hosts, meeting and greeting golfers at each of the 18 holes. A variety of businesses provided sponsorship, including the North American Mission Board, LifeWay Christian Resources, and Chick-fil-a.
Golfers registered then headed to a “Hit the Cow” event––with lots of laughs as they attempted to hit a large Chick-fil-A cow figure.
Afterwards, they gathered in the clubhouse for a continental breakfast. Randy Millwood, BCM/D team strategist for the Church Wellness Center, challenged golfers to avoid “image management,” while on the course. Millwood said most people struggle with “approval addiction.”
“Say what you mean and be your truest self,” Millwood said. He also challenged golfers to look for a way to serve someone during the day and to do it anonymously.
When the rain eased up, golfers took off in carts to begin their 18 rounds. Twenty teams participated. Golfers got to know one another, talked some about church and used terms like “mulligan,” “bogey,” and “par” as they laughed and at times got frustrated with their swings––all in good fun. There was also plenty of talk about getting together to chat more about common ministries.
“While we missed the normal ‘longest drive’ holes, the ‘red tee shots’ were a nice twist. I greatly appreciated the fact that the event was subsidized, allowing more guys to participate who otherwise would have been priced out,” James Pope, pastor of North Arundel Church, said.
Dan Garland of LifeWay, shared about LifeWay’s new Ministry Grid, an e-Learning platform for pastors, staff, and lay leaders that provides web-based video training with more than 1,000 video courses on topics ranging from polity to parking ministry.
NAMB President Kevin Ezell was the guest speaker at a late lunch back at the clubhouse.
Ezell shared the story from Mark 2 about a paralytic and his friends. The friends couldn’t get the ill man through the crowd, so they climbed up and lowered him through the roof.
“What I love about the story is about the four guys…they were going to do whatever it takes to get their friend to Jesus,” he said.
Ezell said he thought about how the conversation must have been. Someone must have been saying, “We should have come earlier, and we would have gotten a seat.” Another had to come up with the idea, “What if we put him on the roof and drop him down to Jesus?” Another guy probably said, “But we’ve never done it that way before!”
But the bottom line was, they did what they needed to do to get the man to Jesus.
“NAMB’s commitment is to partner with Maryland/Delaware, with the churches, the associations, and the conventions to do whatever it takes to get it done,” Ezell said.