Second Wind Ministries has now been in existence for about three years. It began in order to help pastors and Christian ministry leaders find practical encouragement in the ministry journey. As all of us who are involved in Christian spiritual leadership know, it is the Lord himself and the joy of serving in such a high calling that keep us going. The rewards are literally endless! But it is also not uncommon for pastors to endure untold sufferings in the form of spiritual opposition, personal conflict, emotional discouragement, social loneliness and rejection, and financial insecurity. Perhaps that is why, according to one statistic (Southern Baptist Facts and Trends Magazine, 2002) 50% of those who go into full-time service drop out after 5 years. This is a sad commentary on people who go into their work with such a deep sense of conviction and sense of calling.
As the General Director of Second Wind Ministries, I have come to the conclusion that many of the reasons for pastoral turnover could be avoided if pastors and Christian leaders had access to personal and professional encouragement. Pastors and Christian leaders, I feel, need a forum in which to discuss practical reasons and solutions to church ministry conflict. More than thirty-seven years of pastoral ministry experience as well as recent study and research has prepared me to speak candidly about the following issues: finding spiritual fortitude in ministry, the shift to post-modern thinking in our time and its implications for ministry, principles of effective leadership, and matters pertaining to inter-personal communication and organization.
In addition to on-going research and study I have had the privilege of sharing both formally and informally with individuals and groups about these principles. One of the best uses of the resources that God has given to me has been in the capacity of a Transitional Pastor for a church that found itself facing a pastoral change. Over a period of six months, I met regularly with the Board and led the Worship Services of the church to bring closure to the past and renewal of vision for the future. It also involved pastoral care in a variety of ways and affecting relational renewal for the congregation. And finally it entailed helping the Elders Board with improving organization and giving direction in the pastoral search process.
One way in which I am prepared to help churches and church leaders through Second Wind Ministries is to offer Transition Pastoral ministry for churches during a time of pastoral change. I have become better equipped to do this kind of work through a five-day modular course offered recently by Outreach Canada on the subject of Transitional Pastoral ministry. The course emphasized eight goals in transition ministry:
- Closure on the past
- On-going pastoral care
- Warm, relevant preaching
- Effective short-term administration
- Relationship renewal
- Vision renewal
- Structural renewal
- Pastoral search process
Second Wind Ministries is committed to encouragement. As Director, I have had the privilege of doing this in a variety of counseling engagements with individuals and couples who are not necessarily in Christian ministry or of Christian faith. But I would like to refine and concentrate my efforts in the coming year toward those in Christian ministry leadership. I am interested in meeting with pastors individually or in groups to discuss practical aspects of church leadership. I am also interested in meeting with pastors and church boards to provide ideas on more effective church ministry. I especially enjoy the opportunity to work with churches over a period of time to revision for future ministry or to assist with special times of transition (as between pastors).
I am designated as a Transition Pastor by the Canadian Pacific District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada and belong to a net-work of several pastors doing this kind of work in British Columbia led by Gerry Teichrob of Pathways Forward. I am prepared to enter into a contract with any church or ministry group for the purpose of transition ministry or re-visioning a ministry for the future. Second Wind Ministries has also become a Registered Charity in Canada and can offer receipts for tax reduction purposes.
Your heart to help pastors find second wind is inspiring Ed. I know that you are able to do this from the personal experiences of pastoral life, some of which have been very challenging, and I applaud your efforts. I have been thinking a great deal about why so many pastors leave or quit, and why this trend is growing. In addition to providing much needed encouragement I am wondering if we could do more at the outset of a pastor’s tenure with a church by being addressing the issues of values and fit? I found Angie Ward’s article about Discovering Hidden Values helpful.
(see the Hidden Values link on the sidebar of http://pathwaysfoward.info)