Goal: The goal of our growth ministry is to work with ministers in identifying growth opportunities and resources that will assist in developing a proactive lifestyle and ministry.

One of the surest means of facing the challenges of ministry is to be a lifelong learner. Growth is so important! It contributes to our ongoing vitality. It inspires us to rise above our human limitations. It reveals weaknesses and capitalizes on strengths. Growth is a proactive step against the forces that bog you in mediocrity. It guides us to the mountain peak of commitment. Our growth is multi faceted. It involves spiritual, emotional, mental, and professional growth.


The importance of growth is vividly illustrated in the life of the apostle Peter. His life consisted of a series of ups and downs. At times he soared to the heights of inspiration. At times he plunged into the valley of darkness. Peter displayed an extreme pendulum swing from being a traitor to being a martyr. What were some of the lessons he learned along the way? He had to solidify his understanding of Jesus calling (Mt. 4:18; 10:1-42). He had to confront personal issues such as doubt (Mt. 14:28), arrogance (Mt. 26:69-75), and selfishness (Mt. 20:20-22). At times he had to sort through theological issues (Mt. 16:13-20; 16:21-23). His growth paved the way to the pinnacle to which he ascended as he concluded his journey as a disciple. It was not an easy path. However, he faithfully continued to follow Jesus, to grow, and to learn.


The Shepherds Connection wants to partner with you in facilitating growth experiences. Some of these experiences will be shared experiences. Others will be personalized to meet your unique ministry needs. The Shepherd’s Connection will assist you in finding growth experiences that are right for you.


Coaching for personal growth – There are ministries dedicated to coaching in personal growth. These ministries will assist you in confronting personal issues and walking through issues you face in your place of service. Several such ministries are:


Ministry 1:   Threadcraft Counseling

               Ministry 2:   Pastor to Pastor Initiatives


Life changing books - Two or three times a year we facilitate personal growth through book discussion groups. These groups are designed to encourage fellowship, group encounters, accountability, and encouragement. Each group will read, discuss, and share life changing books that will enhance personal development.


Upcoming book groups: (starting the week of January 10, 2011)

1. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

2. Preventing Ministry Failure


Webinars - Webinars are short term growth experiences consisting of one hour teleconference teaching and discussion groups focused on issues faced by the minister (burn-out, stress, conflict, etc.).

Upcoming webinars: Brad Hoffman and Michael Todd Wilson will lead a webinar using their book “Preventing Ministry Failure” beginning in January. Why not get a partner or develop a discussion group in your staff or community?


Coaching in ministry function - A ministry coach can also provide a mentor relationship and guidance in the functional aspect of ministry. Such coaching can be tailored to your growth today, not your status when you left school. Several ministries providing such coaching:


Ministry 1- Nelson Searcy: Telecoaching. Nelson’s telecoaching is focused on the functional aspects of ministry. Nelson will help you analyze your church systems and how to improve ministry effectiveness.

             Church Leader Insights

Ministry 2- Don Follis provides individual coaching that covers personal issues, vision, leadership, and/or function. Don structures the coaching according to your individual needs. This can be done in person or by phone.

             Pastor to Pastor Initiatives