Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2005-09-13

"Like a Mustard Seed: Supporting and Celebrating Small Church Leadership" will be the topic of discussion at Samford University Oct. 24-25. The two-day conference for pastors and lay leaders is sponsored by Samford's Resource Center for Pastoral Excellence.

Popular writer and preacher Calvin Miller will lead the opening worship with his original short story on small church leadership, "Sandals," on Monday afternoon, Oct. 24. Miller is professor of preaching and pastoral ministry at Samford's Beeson Divinity School.

Plenary sessions on Tuesday, Oct. 25, will feature Carl Dudley speaking on effective small church leadership in the 21st Century and Andy Lester on pastoral care in the small church. Dudley is professor of church and community at Hartford Seminary, Hartford, Conn.. Lester is professor of pastoral theology and pastoral counseling at Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, Texas.

Workshop topics will focus on the small church setting and include Christian Education, Preaching Without Sounding 'Preachy,' Pastoral Care with Angry Church Members, Understanding Your Church Family, Surviving and Thriving in the Country Church, Women as Small Church Leaders, Hispanic Ministry, Worship, Preaching, Congregations in Transition, Bivocational Pastoring, Youth Ministry, Vitality and Growth Strategies, and Compassion Evangelism During a Natural Disaster.

Robert Smith, professor of Christian Preaching at Beeson, will lead a closing worship service on Tuesday afternoon.

Registration is open through Oct. 10. The fee is $100. For information, call (205) 726-4064.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.