Bauder Speaks on Training the Next Generation of Pastors

Empty pulpit shows need for "Training the Next Generation of Pastors" theme of CCforGG, where Kevin Bauder spoke.

ROCKFORD, Ill.—More pastors today are over 65 than under 40. “Over the next 10 years or so, we could be looking at a real [pastoral] crisis,” writes Brandon Crawford in “The Crisis of Vacant Pulpits: Causes & Solutions” (Spring 2022 Baptist Bulletin). The Church Conference for God’s Glory hosted by First Baptist Church addressed one solution to this potential dearth of pastors, with the theme “Training the Next Generation of Pastors.”

RBP author Kevin Bauder was one of the five speakers. He addressed “The Future of Ministerial Training,” beginning his message by reading various passages of Scripture about the character and ministries of pastors. He pointed out that “the job hasn’t changed, and the kind of man needed for that job hasn’t changed.” Then, after presenting a brief history of pastoral training in the US, he asked and answered, Where do we go from here?

Kevin Bauder speaks at Church Conference for God's Glory on the theme "Training the Next Generation of Pastors."Speaking about virtual learning on the seminary level, Dr. Bauder shared his evaluation: (1) The good. Virtual classrooms are still interactive. “I think you can come very close to reproducing the academic experience,” he said. (2) The bad. “You lose nearly everything that takes place outside the classroom,” which includes discipleship and knowing a man’s character. (3) The ugly. The enemies of Christ are using “wedge issues” to try to close seminaries, Christian universities and colleges, and even churches through legislation and the courts. If they succeed, these schools will not be allowed to grant credited degrees.

Dr. Bauder then brought the subject around to local churches. When men called to the ministry are trained academically in virtual classrooms, discipleship of them and knowledge of their character must take place in the local church. Current pastors will have to teach the next generation how to pastor.

For now, seminaries are able to offer both on-site and virtual learning opportunities. Dr. Bauder’s position as research professor of systematic theology at Central Baptist Seminary (Plymouth, Minn.) provides him an avenue for training (teaching and personally discipling) the next generation of pastors.

He also educates readers through the books and articles he writes. His two books published by Regular Baptist Books are Baptist Distinctives and New Testament Church Order and One in Hope & Doctrine: Origins of Baptist Fundamentalism 1870–1950. Dr. Bauder also contributes to the Baptist Bulletin.

Listen to Dr. Bauder’s “workshop,” “The Future of Ministerial Training.”

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