As pastors we are constantly telling our people how important community is. We encourage everyone to join a Small Group, Life Group, TLC Group, Sunday School Class, or whatever ministry we may have in place to help people connect for spiritual growth, encouragement, accountability and shepherding. But we often don’t practice what we preach.
Pastor all too often are like eagles. We don’t flock. We fly solo.
I am not sure why we as pastors are often resistant to connecting with each other on a regular bases, for spiritual growth, encouragement, accountability and care giving and receiving – but we are. Maybe it is pride. (We think we don’t need others). Maybe it is insecurity. (We don’t want to be vulnerable with each other and admit we don’t have it all figured out.) Maybe it is because we are “too busy.” (We don’t feel it is important enough to carve out the time.) It could be something else entirely.
The longer I am in ministry the more I realize I need the “community” of other pastors. Who else understands the responsibility we feel for “watching over peoples’ souls”? Who else knows how to pray with true empathy for us in our struggles – and knows how to rejoice with us in our victories?
Cornerstone Pastors Network is a great ministry with a focus on helping us pastors find the sense of “community” that we encourage our people to seek out. I recommend them highly – and encourage you, as a pastor, to set aside your pride, or your insecurity – and carve out the time to be a part of a mutually encouraging group.
“Do not forsake the gathering of yourselves together, as some are in the habit of doing…”
John Snyder, Lead Pastor