DAVIS—The event was described as the “first of its kind.” The 2018 Bivocational/Smaller in Attendance Churches (SAC) Pastors and Wives Retreat, March 2-4, was considered a big success, according to Philip Jones, SAC strategist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO).

“It was a time of refreshing,” Jones said. “Everybody left with their cups full.

The inaugural retreat at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center drew 98 people in attendance, including program personalities, with 43 couples. Jones said it was a time for “ministering” to bivocational pastors and SAC pastors.

“We wanted this to be a time of renewal,” Jones said. “These guys are always pouring themselves into someone else. This was a weekend where they had an opportunity to be poured into.”

One major announcement Jones made at the retreat is a new term that will be used to describe bivocational pastors. They will be called “Multi-Vocational Pastors” or “MVPs.”

“The term ‘MVP,’ to them, was a big winner,” Jones said about his announcement to retreat attendees. “Everybody started using it that weekend, all the speakers did. Now out of that group of people, they know they are ‘MVPs.’”

Jones said he and Alan Quigley, BGCO Mobilization Team leader, have been discussing moving away from the description “bivocational” because of its negative perception among laypeople. Plans are being made to brand the description of “MVP” and begin communication efforts throughout BGCO-affiliated churches about the term.

Jones also presented the idea at the retreat to begin a network for MVPs and SAC pastors, designed to create relationships.

“I want to have communicators—regional communicators, associational communicators who will have the responsibility to get in touch with and build relationships with these MVPs,” Jones said. “They are on their own islands because they work all kinds of schedules, and for them to get away and to join a group of other denominational workers is difficult. So knowing that’s the case, communication and relationships really doesn’t develop well for these guys. This network is going to try to address that.”

The Falls Creek retreat featured Joe Ligon, pastor of Marlow, First and BGCO president, as the retreat pastor. Mark Dance of Lifeway Christian Resources led a Pastors’ Date Night on the first night of the retreat. Dance and his wife Janet also led breakout sessions for both pastors and pastors’ wives.

Other breakout leaders included Bob Mayfield, BGCO adult education and Sunday School specialist; Mike Napier, BGCO personal evangelism specialist; and Amy Cordova, BGCO Women’s and Missions specialist. Worship times were led by the Christian group Master’s Voice.

Jones said the next two retreats have already been scheduled for March 1-3, 2019 and March 6-8, 2020 at Falls Creek. For more information visit www.bgco.org/SAC.