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June-July 2021

Everyday Heroes


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Beyond Spring Training

By Brad Ransom


Each year, Major League Baseball teams take the field during the hottest months of the year. No wonder we call them “the boys of summer.” Their athletic feats and fierce competition are so compelling that MLB has become known as “the American pastime.”

Yet, the MLB season doesn’t start when some celebrity throws out the first pitch (which rarely gets anywhere near the plate). No, major leaguers start their work long before the first game. Each year, they join their teams for spring training—long weeks of conditioning, batting practice, grass drills and fungoes, and even practice games with other teams. They give their full attention to being their best before each new season. Training does not stop just because they reach the big time.

The same should be true for pastors and churches. Training doesn’t stop when ministry begins. It should be a regular, ongoing part of every church.

For seven-plus years, North American Ministries (NAM) has developed resources and training for churches in our denomination. When Jim McComas served as director of church revitalization, he developed a great program to assess church health and work with church leadership to develop a strategy for moving the church forward.

After Jim’s ministry shifted to FWB Family Ministries, the job of helping established churches was added to my duties, along with my role as director of church planting. It is impossible to visit churches across the country like Jim did, because most of my travel time is focused on visiting church planters. However, I have a great love and passion for helping the local church grow and develop healthy structures and systems. I have been a student of church growth and revitalization for more than 20 years and have worked extensively with churches, both as a consultant and coach. The new role of church revitalization wasn’t an obligation but stems from love for our churches and excitement to help.

NAM recently focused on producing written and video resources that can provide help to any church who wants it. We have partnered with the executive office to promote ReKindle: We regularly add new resources to our growing inventory. Below are descriptions of some of the resources NAM has developed and made available to pastors and churches.


Pastors' Boot Camp Training

Boot camp training is typically two days long, generally held twice per year at the national office building in Nashville, Tennessee. Space is limited, so pre-registration is required. Each participant is responsible for travel and lodging. Covered topics usually include: setting up a healthy structure for your church; values, mission, and vision; time management; discipleship; church health; and encouragement for pastors.


Live Seminars

I am happy to present seminars at your location by special arrangement. Please contact NAM for more information. Available on a very limited basis, these sessions must be scheduled well in advance. Among the sessions, we cover:

  • Conflict resolution (team management)

  • Creating momentum in your church

  • Cultural relevance in ministry

  • Dealing with various personalities

  • Developing leaders

  • Developing a strategy for your church

  • Developing systems for your church

  • Navigating the rough waters of change

  • Outreach

  • Reaching diverse generations

  • Recruiting volunteers

  • Retooling, refocusing and relaunching your church

  • Spiritual gifts

  • Strategy for evangelism

  • Structure

  • Values, mission, and vision, and why your church needs them

  • Other topics as needed


Fresh Wind Resources

Fresh Wind Resources is an 80-page church revitalization manual offered free to pastors and leaders. The manual outlines a process for church assessment and how to develop a plan moving forward. Thirteen online videos accompany the manual and can be used by a pastor and leadership team to walk their church through a revitalization process.


Team Training

Team training is a four-plus hour, interactive classroom-styled training designed to help your leadership team work together more effectively. (Pre-work is required for all participants.) Sessions are held at your location (prearrangement required) and cover:

  • Accountability

  • Understanding personalities on a team

  • Communicating with diverse personalities

  • Adaptability

  • Conflict resolution

  • Perceptions in the workplace

  • Overcoming dysfunction

  • Other topics as needed


Video Training

NAM offers several seminars on video, covering topics such as understanding personalities, effective communication, adaptability, conflict resolution, and overcoming dysfunction. We can tailor training for your specific situation or team by special arrangement. Video resources are growing constantly, and we add new sessions regularly. For an up-to-date list, please contact our office.



The Refresh column in ONE Magazine addresses church health and growth topics and is designed to help leaders address these issues. ONE Magazine is released bi-monthly through a free subscription. If you would like to subscribe, contact the Executive Office or access the magazine


Rekindle Coach's Training

Rekindle is a church revitalization strategy led by the Free Will Baptist Executive Office. This program involves some costs; the Executive Office can provide more information and guide your church into getting started. Rekindle requires a six- to 12-month commitment and working with an assigned coach. Rekindle includes ten strategies to lead a church through renewal:

  1. Renewal of the pastor and his wife

  2. Renewal in prayer

  3. Renewal in outreach

  4. Renewal in relationships

  5. Renewal in stewardship

  6. Renewal of key documents

  7. Renewal in discipleship

  8. Renewal of organizational structure

  9. Renewal in leadership development

  10. Renewal through facility assessment


Conference Training

NAM provides other training opportunities from time to time, such as the POWER Conference and seminars at the National Convention and annual Leadership Conference. We work hard to provide the most relevant yet tried-and-true practices that allow churches to be “who they are” within the context of their local culture. Please feel free to contact our office for more information. If we can help you or your church, please let us know. Take your church “beyond spring training” and into a new season of church health.

About the Writer: Brad Ransom is chief training officer and director of church planting at North American Ministries. Learn more:

*All resources are free of charge to our Free Will Baptist churches (except Rekindle). Certain training opportunities require travel and lodging, which is not provided.


©2021 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists