Faculty Complete Transitional Pastor Training

Faculty members from Oklahoma Baptist University's Joe L. Ingram School of Christian Service participated in Transitional Pastor Training, equipping them with information to better teach young pastors and to better serve the churches of Oklahoma. The training was provided May 24-26 by Scott Phillips and Brett Selby from the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Dr. Warren McWilliams (right), Oklahoma Baptist University's Auguie Henry professor of Bible, makes a point of discussion during recent Transitional Pastor Training facilitated by Brett Selby (center back). The training was provided for OBU faculty and other participants by Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma staff. "Christian ministry is always ‘incarnational' and the Transitional Pastor Training reinforced that for me in several ways," said Dr. Kevin Hall, Hollums chair of Bible and professor of religion at OBU. "First of all, the training's blend of theological emphasis on the indispensable place of the local church and practical insights for dealing with the myriad challenges and opportunities in local church ministry re-energized my commitment to paying the price to ‘flesh-out' the claims of Christ within the local church context. "Second, the irreplaceable role of mentors to inspire and model ministry was apparent as Brett Selby and Scott Phillips shared their experiences with us, making personal the wisdom they have learned from their mentors in ministry. I look forward to taking what they have shared and passing it along to my students." Selby said the OBU faculty members and other participants who completed the training are now candidates to lead a church through the transitional process when churches are between pastors. Essentially, transitional pastors help churches prepare for their future and the coming of their next pastor. They do this by leading the church to view their history through the eyes of Christ, assess their current reality, review and affirm the biblical principles of the church, focus on desired kingdom results via objectives and action plans, implement their new church practices and find a pastor to lead them in fulfilling God's purpose for them. "The benefit for OBU professors is that it connects them to the life of a local Baptist church, equips them to help a church move toward a preferred future, as well as train students who will be the pastors of tomorrow," Selby said. Selby, a 1981 OBU alum, serves as leadership development specialist for the BGCO. Phillips serves as team leader for the Church and Family Equipping Team. Churches seeking a pastor look to Selby and Phillips for leadership in moving forward as a church and defining their mission. They also help the churches identify and facilitate the selection and calling of a new pastor. "The knowledge and experience of Scott Phillips and Brett Selby from the BGCO was extremely insightful," said Dr. Mark McClellan, dean of the School of Christian Service. "As a faculty, this helped us discuss how we can better enhance our teaching and preparation of pastors and the centrality of the local church for kingdom ministry. This was truly an example of our necessary partnership with the BGCO in serving the churches of the BGCO."