The Association of Resort and Leisure Ministers was founded in the early 1990’s as a professional development organization for those who do such ministries. Bill was the chair of the organizational committee and the first president. ARLM functions to provide networking, advocacy, skill development, and community for resort and leisure ministers.
The 2009 national meeting took place recently in Branson, Missouri. This meeting was filled with the energy and synergy of preparing for unknown futures through the deep roots the organization enjoys. It was a very hope-filled and strong gathering.
As a new member and as one whom God has called into this ministry expression, Jacob Baccus shares the following thoughts:
I went to the Association of Resort and Leisure Ministers Conference with high hopes but I tried to keep my expectations realistic. I have been to secular and religious conferences of leaders that have not met my hopes and some that have been pretty good but none that exceeded my hopes as much as this conference. It was exciting to be in a room with so many like minded people. These people understood my heart for ministry and meeting people where they are not where I might want them to be. The good thing was while all of these ministers were “outside the box thinkers”, they each had their own approach to fulfilling their calling as resort ministers. I realized that the way I carry out my calling may not be the exact same as anyone else but that’s okay because God has called me to something unique. Within this unique calling, however, I felt affirmation that this is the type of ministry I am passionate about. When I heard people sharing from their hearts about why they do what they do it resonated with me.
For example, I was very excited to learn of an individual who was called to serve as a resort minister in an urban setting. I was intrigued as he shared his passion of ministering to the guests of the community while also ministering to the casino workers within that same community. His ministry was diverse with a broad reach. As he was speaking I thought to myself that this is another potential way I could fulfill my calling as a resort minister. He showed this diverse people group how to experience Christ because he involved himself in the passions and work of others while experiencing enjoyment together.
I want to show people the life eternal and abundant that Jesus offers, how better to experience abundant life than having fun along the way. Ministry should be fun and I know that I can be serious about my calling while enjoying myself within that calling. This conference opened new doors and revitalized my passion to serve Christ, to live out my calling to my fullest potential, and to understand the importance of connecting with like-minded people so that others my experience the life Christ offers.