ENCOURAGEMENT

GOAL: The goal of our encouragement ministry is to work with ministers to maintain balance: emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

In the ’60s, one of the favorite Saturday morning T V. shows was the Lone Ranger.  During the early ’70s, one of the chart topping hits was “I Did it My Way” by Frank Sinatra.  The ‘80s and ’90’s were full of movies about rugged independent individuals such as Clint Eastwood, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. These rugged individuals stood alone and did it all by themselves.  Our culture is full of the mantra that if you are a real man, you will do it alone; you will do it your way and against all odds.  Such a philosophy is only realistic in the make-believe world of Hollywood and not real life, and certainly not in the ministry.

A recent study by the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board revealed that the average Southern Baptist pastor’s tenure is five (5) years!  In their book, “Pastors at Greater Risk,” H.B. London and Neil Wiseman note that 80% of the pastors surveyed believe the pastoral ministry has negatively affected their own families.  Yet 91% believe they are doing what the Lord would have them do and cannot see themselves doing anything else.  More and more senior pastors, associate ministers, youth pastors and their spouses are reporting that the greatest challenge they face in ministry is isolation.

Proverbs 18:1 records Solomon as saying: “He who separates himself, seeks his own desire; he quarrels against all sound wisdom.” Whether this separation is intentional or merely the result of the ministry; such isolation is not healthy and certainly is not what the Lord designed.  God created men and women to be in relationship.  This design goes back as far as the garden in Genesis 2.  Most ministers are aware of this need to be connected with others. Barnabus has become a universal example of a kindred spirit that will come along side, encourage, and be encouraged.  The crying need is to find a place to connect and be encouraged by other people such as Barnabus. But how does one accomplish this in the midst of a busy ministry schedule that is spent putting out fires and ministering to the needs of others?  Where does one find the time or place to seek ministry for themselves? 

The Shepherd’s Connection gives ministers and spouses a place to connect. The Shepherd’s Connection is a unique ministry which allows ministers to encourage and be encouraged by other ministers.  What can we do?

 

  • Sign up for a “SURVIVE AND THRIVE RETREAT”

  • Start a Shepherd’s Connection Group in your community and design ministries that work in your unique situation. We will be glad to assist you with this ministry.
  • Find an “I Survived Testimony” with which you relate. Give the author a call or we will put you in contact with the individual. Be encouraged, inspired, and strengthened by the testimony. Follow the link to discover such testimonies.

  • Find a spiritual truth that encourages you. Spend time meditating on it. Let God use the encouraging truth to minister to you. Follow the link to discover encouraging encouraging truths that will speak to your need.