BEREA, Ky. (KT) – Danny Davis has always been a help to pastors in his work as the associational mission strategist for the Tates Creek Baptist Association.
But he says the last five months, since the coronavirus paralyzed the world, have been “the most fruitful during my time as an AMS.”
Davis has been there for his pastors as a friend, a counselor, mentor and a teacher. They have leaned on him during some of the toughest days that Kentucky Baptist pastors have ever had to endure.
He has led weekly prayer meetings since March, guided book studies in April and May. Pastors have reached out for advice, they have rallied around each other with ideas and become more of a unit under Davis’ guidance.
“Strangely, this period we’ve been through from March to now, has been my most fruitful ministry. Even with the isolation and all we dealt with, the pastors have been more open for help,” Davis said. “It has blessed me. It has been more of a pastoral care thing for these guys. It gives them opportunities to talk and share ideas. The scripture says, 'Iron sharpens iron.' I’m seeing that.”
Davis knows a little something about being a pastor after serving as one for 30 years before becoming an AMS for the Tates Creek Association through the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
“Danny is a great encourager and serves as a mentor to so many pastors,” said Eric Allen, the missions mobilization team leader for the KBC. “I am grateful for the solid and consistent leadership Danny has provided during these difficult and challenging days of ministry.”
He said back in March, when the striking nose of the coronavirus came out and churches were ordered to shutter, Davis said he became burdened for the pastors. “I thought, ‘What can I do to help?’ The first two weeks, when things were shutdown, I had a daily prayer meeting at the office. Every day, Monday thru Friday, at 9 in the morning.”
A good group started coming every day and talked about what was happening and what some of the next steps might be. It became a prayer/counseling session for pastors who were facing an unknown future in a pandemic world.
“After two weeks, when we started getting our footing, we reduced the daily prayer meeting to a weekly meeting every Thursday morning,” Davis said. “The numbers are small and we socially distance and stay within all the guidelines.”
His book study took place on Tuesday mornings and what was supposed to be a 6-8 week session became a 17-19 week session, Davis said
They studied Richard Blackabay’s “Living Out of the Overflow” from 2017. “They just loved it,” Davis said. “When we finished, they were saying ‘Are we going to do another one?’ I told them we’d take a break and start up again in October.”
He’s also scheduled an 11 a.m. Zoom meeting on Thursdays and that’s included some pastors from Garrard County who are KBC and Southern Baptist Convention but don’t belong to any association.
Davis likes the role that being the AMS has provided for him in this time of ministry. He has become an encourager and a mentor for pastors in the association and has worked closely with 15 pastors during these difficult days.
“It’s a stressful time for pastors, maybe more than their members realize,” he said. “Not only the pandemic but the general discord in our society today. The pandemic has become so politicized that people in church are fearful and agitated. It has people on both ends of the spectrum with masks and other things. The pastor has to deal with all that.”
Allen said watching Davis spring into action and be an asset to pastors during the pandemic was part of his DNA.
“It’s no surprise to anyone that Danny’s passion for ministry and making disciples won’t be stopped by a virus,” he said.