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Tuesday’s speaker’s panel at the 2020 GARBC Conference provided virtual conferees a candid experience with this year’s speakers as they fielded questions related to ministry and maintaining perspective. The panel discussion was moderated by Mike Augsburger, pastor of Soteria Church, Des Moines, Iowa, and featured David Strope (pastor of Ankeny Baptist Church, Ankeny, Iowa), Mike Hess (national representative of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches), and Steve DeWitt (pastor of Bethel Church, Crown Point, Ind.).

Augsburger began by asking this year’s keynote speaker, Steve DeWitt, to share about his ministry journey and the challenges he faced in maintaining the right perspective through it. DeWitt shared about his early days in ministry at College Park Church in Indiana which provided him a unique perspective that he has carried into his twenty-three years at Bethel Church. At twenty-nine DeWitt came to Bethel Church as its pastor, bringing with him a healthy dose of enthusiasm. Over the course of the years to follow, he witnessed God richly bless his ministry. DeWitt attributed the growth of Bethel Church to their commitment to being Bible-focused while staying methodologically current to the changing times—a combination he describes as “rooted and relevant.”

Following DeWitt’s testimony of ministry, the panel discussed a variety of helpful topics related to maintaining ministry perspective. The topics were as follows:

  • How to make changes wisely in local church ministry
  • Elders and church government
  • Overcoming a competitive spirit
  • Christ’s centrality to ministry
  • Books and authors that have helped in their ministries
  • Navigating the divisiveness of music
  • Managing state requirements regarding COVID-19
  • Cultural issues related to ethnic tensions
  • Leading well in the first year of pastoral ministry
  • Things they would have changed if they could do it over
  • Favorite verses