Transitions In The African American Church (featuring J. Ricardo Smith)
Life After MinistryJanuary 16, 2024x
19:3222.36 MB

Transitions In The African American Church (featuring J. Ricardo Smith)


In this episode, Matt Davis interviews J. Ricardo Smith at the Classic City Conference in Athens, Georgia. They discuss the purpose and origins of the conference, the state of the black church post-COVID, the challenges of identity and transition in ministry, finding hope and help in difficult seasons, planning for the future of the conference, and the importance of mental health in ministry. J. Ricardo Smith shares his insights and experiences, emphasizing the need for community and support in pastoral leadership.


  • The Classic City Conference was created to provide resources and solutions for small to mid-sized church pastors.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic had both positive and negative impacts on the black church, highlighting the need for shared leadership and addressing issues of identity and worth.

  • Pastors need to recognize their value and worth outside of their role as a senior pastor and be open to transitions and new seasons in ministry.

  • Finding hope and help in difficult seasons of ministry requires community, support, and access to resources like counseling and therapy.

  • The Classic City Conference aims to offer ongoing support and resources beyond the annual event, helping pastors navigate the challenges of ministry.


00:00 - Introduction to the Classic City Conference

04:04 - The State of the Black Church

08:23 - Identity and Transition in Ministry

10:12 - Finding Hope and Help in Ministry

12:02 - Planning for the Future of the Conference

14:19 - The Importance of Mental Health in Ministry

17:07 - Connecting with J. Ricardo Smith and Classic City Conference