By Heidi Sorrells
Three years ago, Larry Barker and the BMA conference team sat down to dream about a conference for pastors, their wives and church ministry leaders who were soldiering in ministry trenches almost 24/7. It was 2020, and COVID had only exacerbated burnout, anxiety, loneliness and decision fatigue. Associational leaders wanted to help and do something to thank and help renew these weary hearts.
Larry’s pastoring role at Cornerstone Baptist in Jacksonville, Texas, coupled with his global ministry work in the areas of church health, leader health and soul care gave him a great burden to provide more resourcing, encouragement, training, coaching and Healthy Church Solution partnerships with anyone who needed it. Out of those prayers and conversations, the Re:Charge conference was born.
Re:Charge was in Dallas, Texas in 2021 and was held in Hot Springs last year. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, confirming that this gathering continues to have purpose and give value to others.
Dan McGee, pastor of Glenview Baptist Church in Independence, Mo. said this after Re:Charge 2022: “My wife and I enjoyed attending Re:Charge last year. We liked the speaker and the entertainment, but what really impacted us was just having a time to relax.”
Tony Crocker, pastor of Worden Baptist Church in Bald Knob said, “Everyone in occupational ministry needs time to refresh. Some seasons, due to the confluence of events in our lives, we need the Lord and fellowship with our brothers in arms more desperately. That was us at Re:Charge 2022. My wife and I arrived facing a deep challenge in ministry, a crossroads in life and a wound in our family. All required the hands and feet of Jesus. When we left, our world had not changed. In fact, our circumstances became more challenging than before. But we had changed. We were ready to fight the war from our knees. Trust us. If you come, you will leave being better for it.”
This year, individuals and couples in all capacities of ministry will gather in Moore, Okla., just outside Oklahoma City, Oct. 4-6, 2023, and find a place to unplug from doing ministry. This is what Re:Charge offers:
• Time away with those who understand the struggle;
• Revisiting the obedience and beauty of the ministry call;
• Times of quiet reflection and prayer;
• Re-energizing through shared stories and accountability conversations;
• Sound Bible teaching from pastor and author Bill Elliff from the Summit Church in North Little Rock;
• Collective worship with Drew Cline, pastor at South City Church in Little Rock;
• Men’s breakout with Larry Barker and ladies’ breakout with Lori Cline;
• Catered dinner and concert with Dove Award winning musician Buddy Mullins;
• Free gifts for every attendee from BMA departments and sponsors;
• Games nights sponsored by the Baptist Trumpet; and
• Free time to explore Bricktown in neighboring Oklahoma City.
From Wednesday evening to Friday morning, Oct. 4-6, the conference emphasizes the importance of Christian community that renews hearts and minds for the ministry season ahead.
Join us in Moore, Okla. for Re:Charge 2023 at Southgate Baptist Church or consider gifting this experience to your pastor or another leader. October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and we can’t think of a better token of appreciation. Go to bmaamerica.org/recharge to register and book an area hotel today!