“The busiest people in ministry are single staff pastors.” Dr. Larry White spoke those words to me when I was serving as pastor of a smaller membership church in Conway over ten years ago. Pastors, who are the only staff members at their church, are often responsible for everything from preaching the sermons and driving the church van, to printing the bulletins and taking out the trash. Anyone who has pastored a smaller membership church can testify that fewer members do not equate to fewer responsibilities. Over half of the Southern Baptist churches in Arkansas are smaller membership congregations running 150 or less on an average Sunday. The vast majority of those are led by single staff pastors, many of whom serve bi-vocationally. From the pulpit to the pew, life is busy. Can I get an amen?! Life for those serving in ministry is even busier, especially for those who serve in bi-vocational and single staff ministries. EQUIP:SMC is designed with the busy, smaller membership ministry couple in mind.
EQUIP:SMC is a one day conference designed to encourage and equip those serving in smaller membership churches. The opportunity to fellowship and talk life and ministry with those serving in a similar context can be really encouraging. Couple this time of fellowship with practical and insightful teaching and you have the aim of this conference. Bi-vocational pastors are some of the true heroes in the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. Dr. Sonny Tucker, and all who serve at the ABSC, wants the smaller membership and bi-vocational ministers of Arkansas to know they are valued, appreciated, and loved. The EQUIP:SMC conference is offered for those serving in these smaller membership ministries as a cooperative effort of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, Williams Baptist University, and the local associations of Northeast Arkansas.