By Sydney Fink
Mount Vernon – On Friday, September 18, Brewton-Parker College (BPC), along with the Daniell Baptist Association, hosted the 2020 SPARK Conference. The SPARK conference is an annual one-day total church equipping conference for church leaders that desire to enrich their ministries and are passionate about training disciples.
This year, local pastors and church leaders gathered at BPC to attend virtual sessions covering topics such as Discipleship, Men’s and Women’s Ministries, Leadership, Middle School Youth, to name a few. SPARK featured speakers such as Robby Gallaty, Paul Chitwood, and Tyrone Barnette to educate ministry leaders on how to encourage spiritual growth and discipleship within their churches.
Robert Gallatly, in his session titled Discipleship, discussed the need and method of how to train disciples in the church. He stated, “Ministry is the pathway for maturity for believers.”
Gallatly went on to explain that for maturity to take place, people need to gain experience in the ministry field. He expressed that by placing believers in the work of ministry, they have the opportunity to grow in maturity.
During the conference, Karl Hay, pastor of First Baptist of Mount Vernon, commented on the Discipleship session saying, “[This event] is a great way to equip pastors and lay leaders.”
In addition to the SPARK speakers, Dr. Steve Echols, President of Brewton-Parker College, spoke to attendees about what he believed change and leadership should look like in the church.
Echols stated, “The purpose for all leadership is transformation.” He explained that church leaders should be “transformational servant leaders.” As they do the work of ministry, they should be “seeing spiritual progress individually in the lives of those they touch and then as a whole in the body of Christ.” Echols expressed that it is important for leaders to be first servants as they encourage spiritual transformation in the lives of other believers.
Dr. Billy Puckett, Director of Missions of the Daniel Baptist Association and also Assistant Professor of Theology at BPC, commented on Dr. Echols words: “Dr. Echols did an exceptional job at encouraging members of the church to lead God’s people to God’s agenda.”
The SPARK Conference at BPC was an enriching and enlightening event for leaders in local churches. Attendees learned many ways to improve and strengthen the different ministries inside their churches. The wide variety of speakers and sessions educated them how to teach and preach people from all stages of life. SPARK worked to equip church leaders with the skills they need to effectively minister and train up disciples in the church.
In response to the event, Dr. Billy Puckett made the following statement regarding the response of the church leaders to the event:
“I see the eagerness and hunger in the participants to really implement the principles that have been learned for the advancement of the church. You can see that we are hungry for revival and change, a spiritual renewal. The spark conference is kindling the fire of hunger. Hopefully, it will spread through the church and renewal will take place.”
BPC is looking forward to seeing how the SPARK Conference is going to impact the local churches and their mission to “make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:16-20).