Newsjournal of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan | June 2023 | Volume 67, Number 6
PASTOR APPRECIATION DAYS
Mike Durbin - State Director of Evangelism
On behalf of all of us, thank you for all you do to advance God's Kingdom! You are a blessing and we want you to know that we appreciate you and your family. We are grateful for your service in the local church, your community and your partnership with us at the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. You and your wife are cordially invited to attend one of three Pastor Appreciation Meals across the state to express our gratitude.
As I started to write, I couldn't help but think about some of the pastors who have had a profound influence on my life. These men spoke scriptural truth into my life and provided Godly wisdom and clarity at critical moments. I am grateful for the investment and guidance of each one and for God placing them in my life. I suspect all our pastors across Michigan can reflect on similar men of influence in their own lives.
When God called me to preach my senior year of high school, it was my pastor who helped me begin the journey. I had not been a follower of Jesus for very long and didn’t really know much about ministry. I needed direction and my pastor knew it. He met with me and several other men (including Tony Lynn) early in the morning before work to disciple us and prepare us to pursue our ministry calling. This wasn’t something he had to do, rather, a commitment to the Gospel to ensure we were well prepared to serve.
When God brought this incredible woman into my life who would become my wife, another pastor and his wife led a premarital seminar for engaged couples. Shar and I met weekly in their home with six other couples as they too poured their lives into ours. They shared openly about the blessings and challenges of life together in the covenant of marriage. They gave of themselves to help prepare us for our journey together as a husband and wife following Christ.
Later when Shar and I made the decision to start a business and minister bi-vocationally for a season, three Michigan pastors stepped into our lives to help us. It was a critical moment for us and God used them. Pastor Larry Rednower invited us to help New Haven Baptist Church start a second campus. Pastor Irv (Salty) Saultman, a long-time contractor and bi-vocational pastor, mentored us in carpentry skills and so much more. Jim Marcus, Director of Missions for the Genesee Baptist Association, served as my ministry coach. These are just a few of the stories I could share of so many pastors who have given to the cause of the ministry.
Having had the privilege to meet and work with pastors from all over our state I can truly say that Michigan Baptist churches are blessed with the pastors and their families serving here. Their love for Jesus and service to His church are glorifying God, making disciples, and punching holes in the darkness. As a Convention, we want to say, "thank you for your ministry!”
We have partnered with The North American Mission Board (NAMB) to host three Pastor Appreciation meals across the state for you and your wife. We want you, pastor, to know you are loved, valued, and appreciated. Dr. Michael Lewis, the Executive Director of Pastoral Care and Development of NAMB will lead our time of appreciation. His ministry focuses on leader care for pastors and their families, such as the Pastoral Care Line, marriage retreats, peer-to-peer learning experiences, and national conferences. You will be blessed and encouraged for sure.
Select one of the three locations below and click here to register.
Friday, April 22, 1:00pm
25333 W. 12 Mile Road
Southfield, MI 48034
Friday, April 22, 6:00pm
730 South Main Street
Frankenmuth, MI 48734
Saturday, April 23, 12:30pm
Bambi Lake Baptist Retreat and Conference Center
3468 E. Robinson Lake Road
Roscommon, MI 48653
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Durbin is the State Evangelism Director for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before joining the state convention staff, Mike served as Church Planting Catalyst and Director of Missions in Metro Detroit since 2007. He also has served as a pastor and bi-vocational pastor in Michigan, as well as International Missionary to Brazil.