Our BASOM pastoral cohort meets twice a year to discuss how we can produce and maintain healthy pastoral ministry in the Bay Area. We recently met in Twain Harte, California. From left: Paul Taylor, Mark McGovern, Kevin Sneed, Gary Parsons, Justin Buzzard, me, and Rob Hall.

What’s your story?
My origin story with BASOM
By: Mark Mitchell, Executive Director of BASOM

Everyone has a story, including organizations like Bay Area School of Ministry (BASOM). People often ask me why I started BASOM, so I’m going to share that story in four (very short) chapters:

  • Chapter One: In 1979-81, I attended a two-year intern program at Peninsula Bible Church called Scribe School. This was a church-based pastoral training in which seminary level classes were completed, and each “Scribe” was mentored by a pastor in the ministry. Although I later went to seminary, I never regretted investing two years in Scribe School. To be mentored by experienced pastors like Ray Stedman and Steve Zeisler was invaluable!
  • Chapter Two: Over the past 35 years, while serving as Pastor at Central Peninsula Church (CPC), I’ve watched seminaries and Bible schools vacate the Bay Area (Fuller, Golden Gate, Simpson, Bethany, San Jose Bible College, etc.). As a result, there is a huge gap when it comes to equipping future leaders in a contextualized way for ministry in the Bay Area.
  • Chapter Three: I began a Pastoral Residency Program at CPC to develop ministry leaders for our church. Kevin Sneed, who later became CPC’s new teaching pastor, was our program’s first resident. In the first four years, six residents graduated from the program, including a resident at New North Church in San Francisco. Thus far we’ve graduated six residents, who currently work at two churches. Four were hired by their church at the end of their residency, and one was hired by a para-church organization that connects with athletes at San Jose State University.
  • Chapter Four: I retired from CPC in September 2021, and the Pastoral Residency Program transitioned to BASOM, an official 501c3. We now have five residents working at two different churches. I’m also investing in a pastoral cohort, which currently consists of six lead pastors. Our goal is to cultivate resiliency over the long haul in this challenging place to do ministry we call the Bay Area.

What will the rest of our story look like? Only God knows, but I hope to expand the residency program to serve more churches and develop more leaders. Our classes are also open to anyone who would like to learn more and grow in their understanding of God and His Word. Our Psalms Seminar with Brian Morgan is coming up on Saturday, Aug. 27, from 9 am to 4 pm at Sequoia Church in Redwood City, and we would love it if you’re able to join. If you’re not able to attend but are still interested in the seminar, please email me to let me know.

I invite you to learn more by browsing our website, and I encourage you to share your thoughts in the blog comments or contact me directly with questions or suggestions.