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Kentucky pastor plans to teach, encourage potential pastors

These men from Bellepoint Baptist Church in the Frankfort area will be training potential pastors with sessions starting the last week of January. From left:: Michael McCurdy, Jon Pope, Scott Van Neste and Devin Leitch.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (BP) – A Frankfort pastor whose small church has members who regularly supply pulpits in the Franklin Baptist Association is planning training in 2023 for those interested in preaching and teaching the Bible more effectively.

Scott Van Neste, who has been pastor at Bellepoint Baptist Church for 15 years and graduated from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said the church makes it a habit to pray for brothers and sisters in the association.

“We have a burden for pastors without churches and churches without pastors,” he said.

Van Neste said the church has been involved with an organization in Memphis that trains pastors that are sent around the world. “I thought, ‘Why can’t we figure out a way to do that here?’”

He thought Bellepoint Baptist was the best place to start since they have been providing pulpit supply to sometimes multiple churches every week. They currently are doing interim work at North Benson Baptist Church.

“We’re talking to the young ones who want to pastor and going to have what we’re going to call a preacher school where we can train our guys to be able to do more pulpit supply and help the churches in our association,” Van Neste said. “We want to help the churches around us by having more guys than we can send out.”

The idea, the pastor said, is to raise up young men who understand better how to assemble a sermon or outline a passage and help those with some basic training and teaching for those who may feel called to someday be a pastor.

“Rural churches are struggling around Frankfort,” Van Neste said. “If they don’t have a man willing in the church to step up and preach or be a pastor, that church can really suffer. We have a lot of churches whose pastors are bi-vocational.”

Doug Hamblin, the associational mission strategist for the Franklin Baptist Association, said the training could be invaluable for those who are considering the call to be a pastor.

“I think it can be very valuable training for these men who are feeling called to the pastorate,” he said. “We are looking to grow the Kingdom, not just a church or an association. This exposes these men to what they need to understand about being a pastor or filling a pulpit. It’s almost like spiritual formations preparing them.”

Hamblin said the 30-church association has three churches without pastors but that the turnover of pastors has been growing. He said this training could benefit pastoral search committees that are looking for godly men, too.

Van Neste said in the past 3-6 months they have had one of the men from the congregation preaching somewhere. The training will only enhance and improve these potential pastors for the future. He said even if someone doesn’t want to be a pastor, the training will benefit Sunday school teachers, too.

He said they plan to start sessions at the end of January for church members or others in the community who might want to come. He said the sessions will be two Saturdays a month with three-hour sessions. Van Neste said it would take about six weeks to where they would be comfortable preaching a passage. Several other men in Bellepointe will also be involved in the training.

“It’s accessible to men who have never preached but also meaty enough for guys who have had no experience,” he said.

    About the Author

  • Mark Maynard/Kentucky Today

    Mark Maynard writes for Kentucky Today, www.kentuckytoday.com, where this article first appeared. Kentucky Today is a news resource of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

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