The 2014 Pastors’ Conference is set for Mon., Nov. 10 from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Oklahoma City, Quail Springs. This year, the officers selected the theme “Pastor to Pastor: A Day of Encouragement.”

Brett Selby, pastoral leadership specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO), helps officers organize the event.

“This longstanding conference is a time for pastors to come together and be encouraged,” Selby said. “Any person who serves in a pastoral role is welcome to attend.”

Every year, pastors gather for the conference and hear incredible speakers. This year’s speakers include Hance Dilbeck, Jim Henry, Lance Lang, Tom Elliff, Danny Akin and Ronnie Floyd. During the conference, pastors elect two officers to plan the following year’s event and put together the program. The two officers include a president-elect, who serves as president his second year, and a first vice-president.

The current Pastors’ Conference officers are Rick Longcrier, pastor of Miami, First, president; Steve Lewis, pastor of Tulsa, Parkview, first vice president; and Rusty McMullen, pastor of Sayre, First, second vice president.

Selby explained a few new additions to this year’s conference.

“This year we are adding a guided prayer time,” Selby said. “This year’s Pastors’ Conference is going to make use of the application, free and available for download on your smartphone, to suggest some next steps following this year’s Pastors’ Conference.”

The conference is also about cultivating relationships. Ministry can often feel lonely, but the goal to encourage pastors includes prayer and relationships.

“My favorite thing is when I see two guys who haven’t seen each other in a while (reconnect),” Selby said. “They will strike up a conversation and decide to meet up again soon.

“My hope is that there wouldn’t be a single pastor leave who still feels alone and isolated in his ministry. Whatever problems were there when he left will still be there when he gets back, but he goes back with a different perspective. He knows that he is not alone, he is not fighting this battle by himself.”

The BGCO helps fund the conference through gifts to the Cooperative Program, but it is run by the officers. Almost as soon as they are elected, the officers get to work on planning and finding speakers for the following year.

“I do think it is a good example of how we do things because this is a cooperative event. The officers don’t answer to me, or to us. There is never a problem. It is a good picture of like-minded people coming together because of the goal and clear purpose everybody just collaborates really well.”