Springfield | An August 12 event for pastors and their wives gave around 70 couples an opportunity to enjoy a meal, be encouraged, and laugh together about some of the challenges of ministry life. All without paying for a babysitter.
The “Pastor Date Night” was held at the IBSA Building in Springfield and sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources. Illinois Disaster Relief volunteers were on hand to provide free childcare.
Pastors and their families “need an outlet, a safe place to come to network with other pastors, to just enjoy the fellowship and the companionship, to be strengthened and encouraged from other pastors,” said Kevin Carrothers, president of IBSA and pastor of Rochester First Baptist Church.
Carrothers helped facilitate the event after talking last fall with LifeWay’s Mark Dance, who explained the vision for the Date Nights held around the country. The format for the night was simple: an hour for a catered dinner, and an hour for a panel discussion facilitated by Dance, LifeWay’s associate vice president for pastoral leadership. Dance and his wife, Janet, were joined by Carrothers and his wife, Jennifer, and Doug and Vickie Munton to answer questions submitted by Date Night attenders. Munton is pastor of First Baptist Church in O’Fallon.
Topics included raising kids in a ministerial family, and how to wisely use social media.
The focus of Date Night was on the health of the pastor and his family, Carrothers said. “All of us have struggles. All of us go through seasons that are more difficult than others. Our pastors need that kind of encouragement.”