NASHVILLE (BP) – When Matt Henslee was elected president of the 2022 SBC Pastors’ Conference, he knew he wanted to plan something that would show the growing diversity in the Convention while also being an example of the singular focus on sharing the Gospel.
The multiple ministry settings represented by the dozen preachers who will be speaking accomplishes one goal. In listening to sermons by those pastors, Henslee said, one phrase kept coming to his mind – “We proclaim Him.”
“So many differences among the hundreds of sermons, but they all had something in common: proclaiming Christ,” he recently wrote in an update. “After all, that is what we do – week in and week out, everyday pastors all over our convention proclaim Christ from pulpits, pub tables, and everything in between. The pastors may be in suits, or they might be in skinny jeans; they might be in mega-churches or tiny churches – the differences are endless, but the call is universal: Proclaim Christ.”
The Pastors’ Conference, held prior to the SBC annual meeting, will this year feature a verse-by-verse journey through Colossians by speakers. Other special guests will bring “short but timely messages to inspire and encourage.”
Speakers will bring their messages from behind the famed “Bellevue Pulpit,” used for decades by legendary preacher Adrian Rogers at Bellevue Baptists Church in Memphis.
On Feb. 17, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will host the conference speakers for a time of discussion and fellowship. The day will also include barbecue with Southwestern President Adam Greenway as well as dinner and games at TopGolf.
Henslee explained pillars, or principles, behind his vision for the conference that formed soon after he was nominated to plan it.
“The first was Everyday Pastors, followed by Expository Preaching and concluded with Engaging Worship and Embracing Endurance,” he said. “The third principle, however, was Encouraging Unity. In a sense, that was the linchpin.
“I truly wanted to bless the boots, Cole Haans or Crocs off those that would gather with a clarion call to unity. Our list of everyday pastors who would preach expository sermons to everyday pastors would encourage unity. Our time of engaging worship with guys who have embraced endurance in front of thousands of everyday pastors who have done the same would encourage unity.”
Fundraising for the event passed $300,000 last month, he reported, with recent gifts from Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Vestavia Hills, Ala.; First Baptist in Plant City, Fla.; and Champion Forest Baptist in Houston. Individual gifts have ranged from $50 to $10,000. Donations can be made here.
“We are also grateful for the willingness of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary to join in on the fun in the exhibit space, and are waiting to hear from a few others,” Henslee said.
All 12 speakers affirm the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 and Chicago Statement on Inerrancy, Henslee said, while ministering differently in their particular contexts.