LANCASTER, Pa. — Want to get away?
An insurance company has fun with that sentiment. Those in ministry know it’s not just for mishaps. This year’s ReFRESH® Northeast conference, slated for March 30 and 31 at the Doubletree Resort by Hilton in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is offering pastors and leaders that opportunity.
The ReFRESH website says the conference “is a time for you to come apart from the distractions and chaos of life and seek the face of God. It’s not about church growth or the latest worship fads. ReFRESH Northeast is designed to ReFOCUS, ReENERGIZE, and ReFRESH pastors, key church leaders, and those who have a thirst for a fresh move of God in the northeastern region of the United States.”
ReFRESH® is a national ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, in partnership with the North American Mission Board. This Northeast regional event will occur in partnership with the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, and the Baptist Resource Network of Pennsylvania/South Jersey.
Chris McCombs, the pastor of Lexington Park Baptist Church in Lexington Park, Maryland, attended ReFRESH® shortly after he relocated to Maryland. He was looking for a pastor’s conference, having lost his Ohio connections. “I loved it,” McCombs said. He and his wife, Shawnetta, now attend regularly. “I’ll be honest. I don’t know if you can find a better pastors’ conference than this one. I praise God for this,” he says.
McCombs emphasizes that the conference is for pastors in all types of congregations, those in difficult situations, and those in healthy churches. Some pastors are broken, coming from stressful, hurtful situations, and others are in healthy churches, McCombs explains, but they too need to be refreshed. “They are there to lift us up,” McCombs says.
The event includes preaching, teaching, worship, and focused prayer, all with an emphasis on encouraging pastors and leaders.
“The way the [conference leaders] preach, they’re talking to pastors. That’s why it’s unique,” McCombs said. “We live it and breathe it and it becomes our identity.”
McCombs says the emphasis in the past has included how to cope with stress, dealing with difficult situations, depression, power in the pulpit, dealing with others, conflict, and finding identity in Christ.
“These are things all pastors have to deal with that you may not learn in seminary,” he explains. “It’s real and practical.”
Now McCombs brings along other pastor friends to encourage and support them.
Kevin Smith, executive director of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, says, “The care and encouragement of ministers are very important to our state convention. We pray that our Maryland and Delaware pastors, planters, church members, and their spouses will be blessed by this opportunity to be refreshed, along with other Christ-followers from our region.”
Registration is $100 and includes the conference fee, room for one night, and lunch for Tuesday. Spouses may attend the conference for free.
For more information and to register visit http://northeast.refreshconference.org.
(image used with permission)