Greatest fulfillment in Ministry
I was born and raised in Prescott, Arkansas during the formative years of my life. To coin a familiar expression, I “flew the coop” upon graduation and landed first at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock before migrating north to a more conducive academic environment at CBC. Years later, being a CBC graduate, I was delighted to serve as an Adjunct Professor in the Bible Department for seven semesters from January 1992 through May 1995. The CBC Bible Department made me a full-time instructor on July 1, 2011. Since becoming a part of this distinguished institution, I have experienced the greatest fulfillment of all my years in ministry.
What I Teach
Having a Doctor of Ministry degree, the Bible Department has assigned me to teach the practical theology classes. The other full-time faculty in this department teach the Greek, Bible, and theology classes. The practical theology classes at CBC include Pastoral Ministry, Pastoral Leadership I, Pastoral Leadership II, Sermon Preparation and Delivery, Expository Preaching, History and Philosophy of Religious Education, Principles and Practices of Teaching, The Educational Program of the Church, Church Growth, and Evangelism. Though not in the area of Practical Theology, I also teach Old and New Testament Survey and Christian Doctrine.
Why I Attended CBC
As noted earlier, I attended two colleges, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Central Baptist College. The reason for transferring to CBC was due to my commitment to pursue vocational Christian ministry the fall semester of my freshman year. I earned a B.A. in Bible from Central Baptist College, Conway, AR, on May 8, 1981. I have attended three seminaries, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN; Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary in Jacksonville, TX; and Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, TX. The Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary awarded me a M.Div. on May 15, 1989. Dallas Theological Seminary conferred a D.Min. degree on me on May 13, 2006.
Serving the Lord in Vocational Ministry
For more than forty-five years I have had the joy of serving the Lord in vocational ministry. I have had the honor of serving as a pastor for more than forty-one of those years. Though I am a full-time instructor at CBC, I also serve as the Senior Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church near Greenbrier. I have served as a pastor of churches in Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, and Mississippi. I have had the privilege of teaching in dozens of Bible, Pastoral, Mission, and Education Conferences in Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Tanzania, Puerto Rico, and several locations in the U.S. The Christian Education Digest and Mission World Magazine have published some of my articles. Several of my sermons have been published in the Baptist Trumpet, The Missouri Baptist, The Mississippi Baptist, The Baptist Progress, and Pulpit Helps magazine.
My Serving Opportunities
I have enjoyed the honor of serving as the moderator of several local BMA associations, two terms as President of the Baptist Missionary Association of AR, and one term as the Vice-President of the Baptist Missionary Association of America. The BMA Missions Department once invited me to be a part of a team that prepared training videos for BMA missionaries. For a brief time, I mentored newly elected missionaries in sermon preparation. I have spoken at multiple BMA Mission Symposiums and delivered the keynote message to newly elected missionaries for the BMA of America at a Missionary Commissioning Service in Colorado Springs, CO. I have spoken at many BMA Minister’s Conferences and served as the featured speaker at the 1997 Minister’s Conference at Temple Baptist Church in Little Rock, AR. Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary invited me to be their Convocation Speaker in the Fall 2019. CBC honored me with the Outstanding Graduate Award, 1981; Outstanding Alumni Award, 1991; and the Outstanding Faculty Award, 2018. I have been the commencement speaker for graduation ceremonies at Central Baptist College and BMA Theological Seminary. I am certain former church members and friends in MS would want me to add that I was voted the best preacher in Itawamba County in 2007.
Strategic Plan for Teaching Pastoral Ministry
The Bible Department, realizing the need for practical and theological training for ministers, has designed numerous classes suited to communicating biblical theology and gaining practical ministry skills. The Department offers the following degrees: B.A. in Bible, B.S. in Bible, and a B.S. in Missions. In addition, the Bible Department has created a Minor in Pastoral Studies. The Bible Department hopes to eventually offer a Pastoral Ministry major.
An Example Semester
My teaching load for the Spring 2020 Semester includes one Bible class, New Testament Survey; one theology class, Introduction to Christian Doctrine; and three practical theology classes — Introduction to Pastoral Ministry, Evangelism, and Expository Preaching. For the sake of brevity, I will address only one class — Pastoral Ministry. As the name implies, it is designed for students that have been called into vocational ministry. Ministry titles and opportunities have broadened considerably in recent decades, but the pastorate is one ministry specialty that is here to stay since it is mandated in the Bible.
What Students Learn in Pastoral Ministry Degree
- understand the biblical perspective of the pastoral ministry,
- articulate a clear personal call to the ministry,
- cite the specific tasks involved in the pastoral ministry, and
- fulfill the biblical and practical demands required of pastors.
These objectives may be clearly stated but are not easily achieved. Some, but not all of these objectives, may be achieved in a traditional classroom format. The overall objective, being able to fulfill the biblical and practical demands of a pastor, will necessitate field work outside of the classroom.
Pastoral Ministry Internship
This field work can be gained by taking PST 4330 – Pastoral Ministry Internship. In this course, students will spend significant time working with a well-trained and experienced pastor assigned by the Chairman of the Bible Department. The pastor will impart insights gleaned from his educational training and practical experiences in ministry. These pastors and churches will also give students ministry and speaking opportunities. When ministry students arrive on campus, they are strongly encouraged to connect with a local church and become acquainted with its pastoral staff. Such relationships will provide learning opportunities and hopefully result in on-going ministry opportunities, enabling students to hone their pastoral skills.
The class format in Pastoral Ministry will include approximately forty-five hours of lecture and discussion. The question and answer methodology facilitate student interest and participation. The instructor weaves theological and practical insights into the lectures. Student questions and class discussion frequently provide the instructor with opportunities to relate personal experiences which often clarify issues being examined.
The lectures for this course cover the following topics:
|A Biblical Perspective of the Pastoral Ministry||The Call to the Ministry|
|Preparation for Ministry||Finding God’s Place of Ministry|
|The Pastor’s Prayer Life||The Pastor’s Family|
|The Pastor’s Qualifications||The Search Process|
|Ordination to Ministry||The First Pastorate|
|The Pastor’s Schedule||The Pastor’s Counseling Ministry|
|Pastoral Ethics||Pastoral Leadership|
|Pastoral Vision||The Pastor’s Preaching|
|Shepherding the Flock||The Pastor as Administrator|
|The Pastor and Church Ordinances||Weddings|
|Ministering to the Grieving|
Learning Church Leadership
Two other courses, Pastoral Leadership I and II, provide additional opportunities to address matters not covered in Pastoral Ministry. As the name implies, these courses focus on issues regarding leadership in a church. Together, these courses provide the foundation for a well-rounded pastor. Students are encouraged to continue their training for pastoral ministry by going to seminary.
Course Reading Examples
During the semester, students are required to read the textbook, The New Guidebook for Pastors, by James W. Bryant and Mac Brunson. The authors are experienced pastors who provide additional voices on the matters covered in the lectures.
Students are also assigned the following outside reading: “The Call to Ministry Journal”.
Chapters one through three in Spiritual Leadership: Moving People on to God’s Agenda, by Henry and Richard Blackaby; and
Chapters one through three in The Power of Vision: Discover and Apply God’s Vision for Your Ministry, by George Barna.
Preparing for a Pastoral Position
Students are given assignments that will prepare them to work with a Church Search Committee. This is usually the first step toward obtaining a vocational ministry position on a church staff. Students are required to prepare a resume that they may submit when seeking a specific ministry opportunity or when requested by a Pastor or Search Committee. Students are also required to submit documents that relate their personal conversion experience and their call to ministry. This information will often be requested by a Pastor or Search Committee. Students are required to prepare a list of questions to ask a Search Committee. This will help them acquire the information they will need to decide if a church offers them a staff position.
Get Interview Experience from a Pastor
Students are also required to interview a Senior Pastor at some point during the semester. The instructor provides the questions the students will ask. This will give students an opportunity to hear experienced pastors address crucial areas of ministry. The students will share their findings in a panel discussion format on the last day of class. This provides students opportunities to hear perspectives from multiple pastors.
Secure Preaching Opportunities
Working with the campus Minister’s Association enables me to help students often find preaching appointments and ministry opportunities. I give the names of our students to dozens of churches each year. Many students seize these opportunities to do ministry and hone their ministry skills.
Personal Growth & Attention with Students
Students are encouraged to come by the offices of the full or part-time Bible Department faculty. This provides additional opportunities for students to pursue additional growth. The Bible Department faculty prays with students and offers guidance regarding personal matters and ministry issues. The cumulative impact of all the above is producing well-qualified ministers for the future.
Written by Dr. Martin Jameson
Do you feel God calling you to the preaching ministry? Our experienced professors and instructors, like Dr. Jameson, in the Bible Department can help!
Schedule a virtual meeting or a personal campus visit at cbc.edu/visit.