Pastors’ Conference offering doubles goal
Mark Kelly, Baptist Press
August 17, 2011

Pastors’ Conference offering doubles goal

Pastors’ Conference offering doubles goal
Mark Kelly, Baptist Press
August 17, 2011


— The offering at the 2011 SBC Pastors’

Conference reached nearly $200,000, or twice the announced $100,000 goal, an

organizer of the event has announced.

The June 12-13 conference, held under the banner of “ASPIRE: Yearning to join

God’s Kingdom activity,” was designed to help pastors see “the big picture of

what God is doing in the world” and rise above preoccupations with temporary

issues, Pastors’ Conference President Vance Pitman, church planter and lead

pastor of Hope Baptist Church in Las Vegas, said at the time.

The event, held prior to the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Phoenix,

focused on the need to plant churches in North America

and take the gospel to the ends of the earth. The offering was to be divided 75

percent to finish translating the “JESUS” film into the language of an

unreached people group in the Arabian Peninsula and 25

percent to conduct overseas pastors’ conferences using national leadership to

assist church leaders in about 20 countries.

BP file photo

Vance Pitman, president of the 2011 SBC Pastors’ Conference speaks during the evening session of the 2011 conference Sunday, June 12. Pitman solicited sponsors for the event so money taken up in the annual offering could go toward missions endeavors. Almost $200,000 was raised.

“Through the offering at ASPIRE, God provided just under $200,000,” said Travis

Ogle, teaching pastor at Hope Baptist

Church. “When we were planning

the event, we felt it would be a shame to see Southern Baptist pastors come

together and Kingdom advance not come out of it. We wanted to celebrate God’s

activity and let the pastors know that something they were part of is going

make a difference around the world.”

Ogle said he had contacted Tom Elliff, president of the International Mission

Board, to let him know a check for $150,000 is on its way to fund the movie

translation. The $50,000 balance will be used by Hope

Baptist Church

to help finance pastor training in four locations in Africa,

North Africa and Southeast Asia

in conjunction with missionaries, Christian mission organizations and national

Baptist groups.

“We have partners around the world, some in closed countries, who help us train

pastors from dozens of countries each year,” Ogle said. “These events reach

between 2,500 and 3,000 national pastors, and for most of them this is the only

form of theological and leadership training they receive all year.”

As an encouragement to other pastors to make church planting commitments, video

recordings of all Pastors’ Conference sermons have been made available free of

charge at the conference’s website (sbcpc.net/media), Ogle said.

“Thanks to the North American Mission Board’s sponsorship in this effort, the

sermons from ASPIRE have been downloaded in more than 120 countries thus far,”

Ogle said. “We’re praying God will continue to use these messages to touch the

world with the gospel.”

Speakers at the conference included Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake

Forest, Calif.; Ken Whitten of Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa, Fla.; Afshin

Ziafat of Providence Church in Frisco, Texas; Louie Giglio of Passion City

Church in Atlanta; Bob Roberts of Northwood Church in Keller, Texas; Peter

Ndhlovu of Bible Gospel Church in Africa in Lusaka, Zambia; Paul Gotthardt of

Life Baptist Church in Las Vegas; Darrin Patrick of The Journey Church in St.

Louis; Gregg Matte of First Baptist

Church in Houston; evangelist Bob Pitman of Muscle Shoals,

Ala.; Johnny Hunt of First Baptist

Church in Woodstock, Ga.; John Piper, preaching pastor of

Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis.

In years past, the Pastors’ Conference offering was used to recoup meeting

expenses. To enable the offering to be used for mission causes this year,

Pitman recruited sponsors to cover conference expenses. A list of those who

contributed can be found at sbcpc.net/about/sponsors.

(EDITOR’S NOTE — Kelly is a senior writer and assistant editor for Baptist