Texas Baptist Voices

Richard Ray: Annual conference will minister to the entire family

I want to invite you to our upcoming Bivocational/Small Church Conference July 11-12 on the campus of Baptist University of the Americas in San Antonio. The theme for the conference is “A Call to Courage,” taken from Deuteronomy 31:8, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

richard ray130Richard RayThe Bivocational/Small Church Association understands that serving in small church takes courage. This year’s conference is designed to minister to small-church ministers and their families who have taken on the call of God to serve in the small-church mission field.

In this conference, you will find breakout sessions that include topics such as “Sermon Preparation,” in which you receive resources and on-sight instruction on preparing a sermon. “Pastor to Pastor” is a time set aside for pastors to share their ideas and struggles, seeking answers to cooperative conversation and prayer.

“New to the Ministry” will offer instruction for a new minister in leading his church to follow God’s vision. “Don’t Get Stuck” will examine the pitfalls that can snare a minister and church. You will learn how to avoid or get unstuck from such pitfalls. “Gifts Assessment” will help you discover your spiritual gifts and how to use them to further the kingdom of God.

We also are featuring a “Ladies’ Beauty Spa,” where each woman can have her nails done and receive refreshments and fellowship. The teenagers will be entertained and ministered to by Cory Devivo of Masterpiece Ministries. Cory and his wife, along with sponsors, will host the teenagers on a day trip to downtown San Antonio. Childcare and activities also will be provided for children.

texas baptist voices right120This conference is designed for the whole family to be encouraged, equipped and edified. We understand that when a minister is called to serve in the small-church mission field, the entire family also is called. To survive the call, it takes courage and support from those who understand. I encourage you to attend this year’s conference.

You can find additional information on our website at, or you may contact me via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . In next week’s article, I will share additional information concerning the conference, including entertainment and special events.

Remember, God has called you to serve, but God has not called you to serve alone. Let us be your advocate, your resource and your prayer partner as you fulfill your calling. Until next time, please visit our website,

Richard Ray is president of the Bivocational/Small Church Association, pastor of First Baptist Church in Wink and director of missions for Pecos Valley Baptist Association. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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