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Sometimes pastors need to call 'time out,' speaker says

The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell preaches at the Convocation for Pastors of African American Churches. A UMNS photo by Jeanette Pinkston.

By Jeanette Pinkston*
Jan. 17, 2007 | DALLAS (UMNS)

The Rev. Freddie Haynes has a message for busy pastors: "If you want to walk on water, you need to call a time-out."

Haynes, pastor of Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas, was speaking to more than 500 participants attending the Convocation for Pastors of African American Churches, sponsored by the United Methodist Church's Board of Discipleship. He took his text from Matthew 14:22-23.

"In verse 22, Jesus dismisses the crowd and calls a time-out," he said. "Ego will cause you to kick it with the crowd, rather than dismiss the crowd. Jesus had sense enough to call time out."

When Jesus went to the mountain, he came down with more power. In this text, he came down and walked on water, Haynes said.

Using a NASCAR racing analogy, Haynes reminded pastors that they, too, must call a time-out to get refueled. “If you call time out when it’s calm, God will keep you calm in the storm,” he said.

The convocation, held Jan. 3-6, was designed to help United Methodist pastors and leaders of African-American congregations be intentional about focusing on healthy options that connect spirit, body and mind. (See "Convocation for pastors focuses on healthy connections," 1/11/07)

Know when to get up

The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, inspired the gathering with a sermon on the "Mindset of a Winner. "

To illustrate how a winner thinks, Caldwell showed video clips from the 1976 World Series baseball game in which Reggie Jackson hit four home runs in a row, and the boxing match between Mike Tyson and Buster Douglass to demonstrate what to do when you get knocked down.

"When you have a winner’s mentality, you have to know how to get up. When you get knocked down, stay there for a while, " he said.

Quoting favorite Scriptures, he reminded the group of the importance of walking with the Lord and reading the Bible. 

"From this day forward (you can declare), I will get what I fight for. I will fight for my health. I will fight for my equilibrium. I will fight for my family. I will fight for a balanced life. I will fight for an equitable compensation package, " Caldwell said.

Convocation participants went to St. Luke "Community" United Methodist Church for dinner and an evening worship and communion service, where the Rev. Gregory Palmer, resident bishop of the Iowa Area, preached from Matthew 26:26.

"The hopes and fears of all the years are met in the cross of Calvary.  Hope and fear came together on Calvary’s cross," he said. "We were dead in our trespasses, but in Christ, we have been made alive. "

Participants could choose from a variety of workshops, including clergy self-care, managing anger and stress, preparing for the future, faces of depression, the prayer experience, healthy congregations, recognizing and responding to burnout, exercise, nutrition and good health, healthy sexuality, and balancing ministry and family.

This was the fifth annual convocation for pastors of African-American congregations sponsored by the Board of Discipleship.

*Pinkston is director of media relations for the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

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