The Lone Ranger never rode alone.
Han Solo never flew solo.
Peter had James and John. James had John and Peter. They all had Matthew and Thomas and Andrew and Philip and… (you get the idea).
Paul had Barnabas and Timothy. And Silas. And Apollos.
Pastors need other pastors. Lots of them. The Lord Jesus designed us that way and called us into a fellowship of pastors.
The tragedy of church life for far too many pastors is that they have no one to talk to about the anxieties of ministry, no one who would truly understand the crazy swings of the highest highs and lowest lows of ministry.
The pandemic has caused a lot of grief and a lot of loss.
I have lost beloved fellow pastors to the virus. In recent weeks, I’ve lost mentors and friends to other causes. I’m grieving.
The other great loss I’ve experienced this year is the table groups at our couples’ retreats. My greatest joy at Grace Place Wellness is leading retreats, and it’s been over a year now.
The best part of the retreat is when I shut up and the table groups, three or four couples sitting together, connect with one another.
Powerfully. Authentically. Sharing stories of ministry’s anxieties and celebrations.
They laugh. They cry. They pray.
It’s beautiful. Because it’s the way Jesus intended it to be.
Pastors and their spouses need each other.
I have a cartoon next to my desk of Popeye the Sailor saying, “That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more!”
When I couldn’t stand it any longer, I started meeting with pastors on Tuesday afternoons in a new platform we call the Grace Place Wellness Community. Each week I share a wellness topic at our Weekly Retreat.
And after about 20 minutes I shut up and let Jesus take over.
We talk. We share. We tell stories.
We create a holy place, a Grace Place,
where pastors can be themselves; hurting a little, rejoicing a little, blessing each other with hope and peace, a lot.
Twenty-three percent of LCMS pastors tell us they have no one to talk to about life and ministry. I worry that very few of the seventy-seven percent who report that they do have someone to talk to, rarely, if ever, seek out the kinds of healthy conversations we’re having on Tuesdays.
I hope that you’re traveling with a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy of your own; someone who is mentoring you, someone who encourages you, someone who you’re mentoring. Often. Pastors need each other.
And I pray that if you don’t,
you’ll consider this invitation to join us at the table.
Try us free for a month. After that it’s less than a cup of coffee per week. There’s a gathering of pastors who need you.
And we’d like to come alongside you on your journey. Please join us soon.
There’s room at the table for you!
Thanks for reading.