Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference president Dave Miller doesn’t expect attendees of this year’s sessions to recognize the names of all 12 conference preachers.

But that’s OK, he said, because the preachers’ names aren’t the focus. With the theme “above every name,” the June 11-12 gathering is centered on 12 pastors of average-sized Southern Baptist churches preaching through the biblical book of Philippians to exalt Jesus’ name.

Miller, pastor of Southern Hills Baptist Church in Sioux City, Iowa, said the preacher-selection process for the conference — which considered only pastors of churches with approximately 500 or fewer in average attendance — illustrated how many outstanding pastors lead average-sized churches.

“We had so many really good preachers that we could have selected from,” Miller said. “The hardest part was winnowing [some 140 nominees to speak] down … I think we ended up with about 40” favorites.

Aided in their preparation by support from the Caskey Center for Church Excellence at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a February colloquium at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, the 12 speakers will preach sequentially through Philippians, covering every verse of the book’s four chapters over two days.

The Caskey Center — the Pastors’ Conference’s “major partner” this year according to the conference website — will present research at each session on various facets of church life and ministry.

Along with preaching, the Pastors’ Conference will feature worship and prayer to undergird the ministry of pastors and their wives. The sessions at the Phoenix Convention Center will be held prior to the Southern Baptist Convention’s June 13-14 annual meeting there.

Miller’s advice for conference attendees is to “read and look through the book of Philippians” in advance because the meeting “is all about the text” of Scripture.

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
David Roach

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