An article for the LCMC newsletter.
One of the most exciting things about LCMC 3.0 is the emphasis on leader care. This has long been an issue in churches and even more profoundly so now. Research from Pew, Barna and others has tracked a dramatic increase in the number of pastors
who are considering leaving ministry altogether (not just their current role or church). In November 2021, 29% of pastors in the U. S. were seriously considering leaving ministry. As of now, that number hovers between 46% and 49%! A dramatic increase. Almost half of pastors are considering leaving ministry right now.
The leader care initiatives could not come at a better time.
Pastors – as well as church and ministry staff members – need encouragement, care and support now more than ever. Part of the work I get to do in leading Preparing for Amazement Ministries is helping pastors, church and ministry staff with leader health through our Pastors4Pastors ministry. I have never seen a season in my career where church leaders are struggling so deeply. I have more heartbreaking conversations than I care to count.
That said, the good news of the Gospel is that in the darkest, most challenging moments come the greatest seasons of opportunity for renewal, revival and revitalization. In doing this work, I have learned that outside of the work of God through the Gospel, health trumps all in ministry leaders (and in churches as well). I have been forced to reflect on my own ministry career and how much I needed pastoral care and support in each of the places I served. Pastors and church staff need pastors too.
For our ministry, church and leader health is one of our three areas of focus, with Pastors4Pastors being our flagship ministry for leader health.
The main focus of Pastors4Pastors is on self-care and the overall health of leaders. The ministry is open to all church and ministry staff, not just pastors. While the focus is on self-care and health, professional support, advice and mentoring may naturally be a part of the Pastors4Pastors ministry. We do not want to be one more task on a to do list or another appointment in an already busy calendar, but we desire to initiate and provide transparent, authentic, empathetic support. Pastors4Pastors includes:
• One-on-One Support – Pastors will receive one-on-one initial support and ongoing support throughout the year.
• Pastors4Pastors Network – This includes monthly network zoom calls with other pastors, church staff and ministry leaders around the world where the discussion is centered around leader and church health.
• Resource Support – Pastors will receive connection to network, ministry partners and other resources through Preparing for Amazement Ministries.
Pastors and church staff need multiple layers of support: congregational, local and support outside of the congregation and local community. Pastors4Pastors seeks to provide that kind of support.
We are excited to provide resources to churches, pastors, church and ministry staff and we are looking forward to complementing the great things happening in the leader care initiatives for LCMC 3.0. We believe God’s redemptive power can take any season of challenge and bring about revitalization in our churches, their pastors, staff and leaders.
To learn more about Pastors4Pastors and our other ministries, visit: www.amazed15.org
or email firstname.lastname@example.org