Ministries

‘In Support of Excellence’

With support from Lilly Endowment Inc.’s National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) has created the “In Support of Excellence” program to put pastors first.

ABHMS’ “In Support of Excellence” seeks to equip American Baptist pastors and lay leaders with theIn Support of Excellence logo for website knowledge, skills and tangible resources to help ameliorate financial burdens and catalyze emerging leaders to drive transformative impact in churches and communities.

Too many high-capacity pastors are suffering in silence, woefully undercompensated and squeezed by crushing debt. God loves pastors, and ABHMS is committed to supporting pastors by equipping them and their lay leaders with financial management best practices, leadership coaching, self-care strategies, targeted relief from economic distress and seed funds to incubate new ministry models.

Learn more.

 

Announcing the ‘In Support of Excellence’ national launch

To apply, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • • submit a completed application by Jan. 16, 2017;
  • • be a pastor or lay leader;
  • • be a sitting American Baptist Churches USA pastor with a congregation of no more than 500;
  • • enroll key church leaders–particularly the financial leadership–in the Church Leader track;
  • • openly share with cohort members, while maintaining the group’s confidentiality and privacy;
  • • mentor others upon program completion; and
  • • attend each Learning Lab in its entirety. (Continued participation in the program will be based on periodic evaluation of satisfactory completion of required program elements; all expenses associated with travel will be covered by “In Support of Excellence” for enrolled participants.)

For your convenience and to accommodate bi-vocational pastors, multiple time zones and lay leaders’ work schedules, the same session is offered twice on the same day. Participants need attend only one session per day. Additionally, some sessions, as indicated below, are targeted for pastors, while others are targeted to lay leaders, and still others are designed for both pastor and lay leader attendance. Applicants will receive status on their applications by 3 p.m. on Feb. 6, 2017.

Apply online today

The application process for spring 2017 has closed. Please check back for future opportunities.

Virtual Meeting Dates

For Pastors

When a session is repeated on the same day, you choose only one of those sessions.

Feb. 16, 2017

Noon-2 p.m. EST &
3-5 p.m. EST

Exploring the Theological Underpinnings of Stewardship and Generosity in the Context of 21st –century Congregational Life

  • – Understanding the components of pastoral well-being
  • – What pastors wish their lay leaders knew
  • – Exploring the influences of gender and race dynamics in pastoral ministry
  • – Understanding the impact of economic hardship on a pastor’s well-being

 

March 16, 2017

Noon-2 p.m. EDT &
8-10 p.m. EDT

Budgeting and Tracking Cash Flow in partnership with MMBB

  • – What is a Budget?
  • – Reasons for using a budget
  • – Budgeting Advantages and Challenges
  • – Getting started – step by step using MMBB templates

 

April 20, 2017

Noon-2 p.m. EDT &
8-10 p.m. EDT

Preparing for Tomorrow Today with MMBB

  • – What is retirement planning
  • – How saving a little today can grow into a lot tomorrow
  • – Retirement investment vehicles with MMBB
  • – Retirement calculator

 

April 28, 2017

Noon-1 p.m. EDT &
8-9 p.m. EDT

“Help, I am a Bi-vocational Pastor Who is Hurting Financially and No One Knows” 

  • – An open space where pastors can confidentially discuss the impact of pastoring under financial stress on their ministries and overall sense of wellbeing.

 

May 18, 2017

Noon-2 p.m. EDT &
8-10 p.m. EDT

The Five Essential Systems Any Church Needs to Drive Growth

  • – New members system
  • – Giving system
  • – Assimilation system
  • – Life groups system
  • – Sunday morning system

 

May 26, 2017

Noon-1 p.m. EDT &
8-9 p.m. EDT

“Help I am a Bi-vocational Pastor”

  • – Identifying the unique demands that bi-vocational pastors operate under
  • – Developing a plan to become a full time pastor with your congregation
  • – Setting and keeping ministerial boundaries
  • – Balancing family, ministry and work.

 

June 22, 2017

Noon-2 p.m. EDT &
8-10 p.m. EDT

Calculating Fair Clergy Compensation

  • – How much should we be paying our pastors?
  • – Tools pastors and congregations can use to calculate fair compensation packages
  • – Five steps pastors and congregations can take to reexamine if the pastor compensation package is fair

 

July 13, 2017

Noon-2 p.m. EDT &
8-10 p.m. EDT

Fundamentals of Effective Leadership 

  • – Setting Vision, Mission and Values
  • – Setting S.M.A.R.T Goals
  • – Five Levels of Leadership
  • – Going from Good to Great

 

July 20, 2017

Noon-2 p.m. EDT &
8-10 p.m. EDT

Creating Vision, Mission and Values for Your Congregation

  • – What is the vision, mission and values for your church?
  • – Three steps to a collaborative vision setting process
  • – Six ways to over-communicate your vision, mission and values

 

Sept. 14, 2017

Noon-2 p.m. EDT &
8-10 p.m. EDT

Developing Winning Giving Systems

  • – Automating the important (leveraging online donation vehicles)
  • – Developing and delivering “giving” talks
  • – Inspiring happy givers
  • – Saying thank you
  • – Helping your congregations to win financially

 

Oct. 12, 2017

Noon-2 p.m. EDT &
8-10 p.m. EDT

Reclaiming a Theology of Self-Love and Self-Care 

  • – How can pastors incorporate self-care in their daily ministerial praxis?
  • – Keeping the Sabbath
  • – How can pastors build margin into their lives?
  • – Giving yourself permission to rest and hobby
  • – Placing the big rocks first

 

Oct. 19, 2017

Noon-1 p.m. EDT &
8-9 p.m. EDT

How are you practicing self-care

  • – Supporting pastors in developing an individualized plan of self-care

 

Dec. 12, 2017

Noon-2 p.m. EST &
8-10 p.m. EST

Next steps — you move

  • – What are you going to do differently going forward to advance your financial freedom

 

For Lay Leaders

When a session is repeated on the same day, you choose only one of those sessions.

Feb. 16, 2017

Noon-2 p.m. EST &
3-5 p.m. EST

Exploring the Theological Underpinnings of Stewardship and Generosity in the Context of 21st –century Congregational Life

  • – Understanding the components of pastoral well-being
  • – What pastors wish their lay leaders knew
  • – Exploring the influences of gender and race dynamics in pastoral ministry
  • – Understanding the impact of economic hardship on a pastor’s well-being

 

March 16, 2017

Noon-2 p.m. EDT &
8-10 p.m. EDT

Budgeting and Tracking Cash Flow in partnership with MMBB

  • – What is a Budget?
  • – Reasons for using a budget
  • – Budgeting Advantages and Challenges
  • – Getting started – step by step using MMBB templates

 

March 23, 2017

Noon-1 p.m. EDT &
8-9 p.m. EDT

Reimagining Leadership through Personal Stewardship

  • – Developing biblical understanding of the lay leader’s vocation
  • – A biblical understanding of personal stewardship
  • – How to model extravagant generosity individually and collectively

 

April 20, 2017

Noon-2 p.m. EDT &
8-10 p.m. EDT

Preparing for Tomorrow Today with MMBB

  • – What is retirement planning
  • – How saving a little today can grow into a lot tomorrow
  • – Retirement investment vehicles with MMBB
  • – Retirement calculator

 

May 11, 2017

Noon-1 p.m. EDT &
8-9 p.m. EDT

Every Member a Minister: Understanding the Dynamics of Pastoral Wellbeing

  • – What are the three factors that contribute to a pastor’s sense of ministerial satisfaction
  • – What are the three uniquely biblical ways in which lay leaders can support their pastors
  • – Winning strategies for leading from behind

 

May 18, 2017

Noon-2 p.m. EDT &
8-10 p.m. EDT

The Five Essential Systems Any Church Needs to Drive Growth

  • – New members system
  • – Giving system
  • – Assimilation system
  • – Life groups system
  • – Sunday morning system

June 22, 2017

Noon-2 p.m. EDT &
8-10 p.m. EDT

Calculating Fair Clergy Compensation

  • – How much should we be paying our pastors?
  • – Tools pastors and congregations can use to calculate fair compensation packages
  • – Five steps pastors and congregations can take to reexamine if the pastor compensation package is fair

 

July 13, 2017

Noon-2 p.m. EDT &
8-10 p.m. EDT

Fundamentals of Effective Leadership 

  • – Setting Vision, Mission and Values
  • – Setting S.M.A.R.T Goals
  • – Five Levels of Leadership
  • – Going from Good to Great

Sept. 14, 2017

Noon-2 p.m. EDT &
8-10 p.m. EDT

Developing Winning Giving Systems

  • – Automating the important (leveraging online donation vehicles)
  • – Developing and delivering “giving” talks
  • – Inspiring happy givers
  • – Saying thank you
  • – Helping your congregations to win financially

 

Oct. 12, 2017

Noon-2 p.m. EDT &
8-10 p.m. EDT

Reclaiming a Theology of Self-Love and Self-Care 

  • – How can pastors incorporate self-care in their daily ministerial praxis?
  • – Keeping the Sabbath
  • – How can pastors build margin into their lives?
  • – Giving yourself permission to rest and hobby
  • – Placing the big rocks first

 

Oct. 26, 2017

Noon-1 p.m. EDT &
8-9 p.m. EDT

How are you supporting your pastor to practice self-care?

  • – What are ways in which you can support your pastor to adhere to their individualized plan of self-care

 

Dec. 12, 2017

Noon-2 p.m. EST &
8-10 p.m. EST

Next steps — you move

  • – What are you going to do differently going forward to advance your financial freedom