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SBC DIGEST: NAMB launches ‘Equipping Pastors’ podcast; GuideStone Summit conf set for April

NAMB’s ‘Equipping Pastors’ podcast features Tony Dungy, James Brown on first episode

By Brandon Elrod/NAMB

ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Since Ken Whitten joined the staff of the North American Mission Board (NAMB) in 2023 to serve as national director of pastoral leadership, he has been connecting with pastors and creating resources. Now he has launched the “Equipping Pastors” podcast.

“Whether you’re thriving or you’re just struggling to hang on, our desire is to provide helpful conversations with leaders inside and outside the church to help pastors and leaders feel equipped for the everyday grind of ministry,” Whitten said. “We want to encourage pastors to live out the calling of God’s glorious Gospel with confidence.”

Part of the vision for the podcast is to introduce pastors to Christian leaders who serve outside the church, to hear their insights on leadership.

In that vein, the first episode of the podcast, which posted Thursday, Feb. 8, features a conversation with Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy and James Brown, best known as host of “The NFL Today” on CBS. Both men are known for their Christian faith.

Dungy cited head coach Chuck Noll as one of his key influences as a leader.

“I got some real insight into what made him, I think, the best coach ever in the National Football League,” Dungy said in the interview with Whitten. “I had never coached before. He hired me as a young man. He’s training me, and I said, ‘Coach Noll, what is my job as a coach?’ He said, ‘Tony, you have one job – that is to help your players be better.’ When he said that, the light bulb went on for me. … That just took me back to what Jesus told His disciples. Hey, you want to be the greatest? Serve.”

Dungy and Brown share their experiences living their lives publicly and remaining true to their faith despite pushback and criticism. They also describe how they maintain their integrity within their family life in the face of living in the national “fishbowl” of the NFL.

New episodes of “Equipping Pastors” will be available the first week of every month and can be accessed through Apple Podcasts, Spotify as well as at EquippingPastorsPodcast.com.

Visit namb.net/pastors for additional resources.

GuideStone’s annual Summit for church, ministry business leaders set for April 21-23

By Roy Hayhurst/GuideStone

DALLAS (BP) – Registration is open for The Summit, powered by GuideStone, a two-day conference designed for financial officers, human resources professionals and key decision-makers from churches, ministries and nonprofit organizations.

Formerly known as the Employee Benefits Summit, The Summit will be held April 21-23 at the Hyatt Regency Frisco, north of Dallas.

Early bird registration is available for $300 and closes on March 9. Regular registration is $350 and closes on April 9. Information is available at GuideStone.org/Summit.

Continuing education credits are available for CPE, CCA, HRCI and SHRM holders.

“The Summit will provide insights and information that church and ministry leaders can put into action as soon as they return to their place of service,” GuideStone President Hance Dilbeck said. “We want to encourage and equip these finance officers and HR leaders with best practices and current trends in HR and finance.”

Speakers include Jenni Catron, Founder/CEO of The 4Sight Group; Hiram Sasser, executive general counsel of First Liberty Institute; Michael Batts, the managing partner of Orlando-based Batts Morrison Wales & Lee; Kenneth Tan, partner at Capin Crouse, LLP; Danny Miller, a partner with Conner & Winters LLP; Al Lopus, cofounder and board chair, Best Christian Workplaces; and Shane Pruitt, national next gen director for the North American Mission Board. Dilbeck will provide a keynote on “Serving Unseen.” Dallas area-based Gateway Worship will lead music during plenary times.

Topics include planning succession, costly financial mistakes to avoid, keys to boosting employee engagement and well-being, and Secure 2.0 Act legislative updates.

“These HR and finance leaders often labor unseen by the rest of the church’s staff and members, but they are integral to the work of the ministry,” Dilbeck said. “These are the workers who ensure the work of the ministry is funded, compliant with applicable laws and ready to serve as a true partner in ministry for their organization. We know these will be three days well spent.”

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