Recently, one of the pastors I was working with said to me, “I don’t know of anything quite like CCN. You are the only organization I know that really has a pastor’s heart and is trying to understand what that means and how you can support it. You are giving yourselves away.” While his words thrilled my heart, my thoughts turned to how much more we want to do to help pastors succeed.
Last fall, the Cornerstone team spent a lot of time thinking, discussing and praying about the direction that God would have for us in 2012 and beyond. We sought increased clarity about our mission, our values and the ways in which we serve pastors and leaders. Our efforts resulted in a new focus on our mission and expansion of our services to encourage and equip pastors and leaders. What emerged from our values of authentic relationships, being missional, connecting pastors to resources, spiritual vitality, and doing everything from a Kingdom perspective has further deepened our commitment to serving pastors at a number of levels.
In this special issue of ALL In, I want to tell you about two new Cornerstone initiatives for 2012. The first is directed at offering “soul care” for pastors and the second at providing a way to help pastors go deeper in addressing important issues facing their church in the context of a group of peers led by an outstanding resource leader.
Perhaps the most critical issue for pastors and leaders today is the care of their own soul. I don’t need to recite the statistics about the pressures and demands of being a pastor today. You are living it every day. Once we determined that soul care for pastors would be a key priority for us, we sought to partner with the best people we knew who could deliver that resource. Today, we are announcing a new partnership between Cornerstone and Leadership Transformations, a ministry whose mission is the spiritual transformation of leaders and teams. Led by its founder and president, Steve Macchia, God is using LTi to serve pastors, churches, and leadership teams to focus on spiritual formation, discernment and renewal. As Steve so often says, “As the leader goes, so goes the organization, as the soul of the leader goes, so goes the leader. The soul is the most necessary and important and yet the most neglected part of a person.”
We are excited about the potential of this partnership and the difference it will make in the lives of pastors. Later this year Cornerstone will be offering a series of Soul Care Retreats for pastors led by Steve and the LTi team. Look for locations, dates and specific details in future issues of ALL In and on the Cornerstone website. Steve will also be contributing feature articles related to soul care for pastors in future issues of All In. At 12:15 (EST) on Thursday, March 15, Steve will be the resource for our March Pastor’s Resource Call that is free to the first 25 people who register. We will also be giving a free copy of Steve’s new book, Crafting a Rule of Life, to the first 25 registrants.
Our second announcement concerns providing a way for pastors to be able to go deeper in getting the help you need to address significant issues related to moving your church forward and making disciples. We know from experience with our Master’s Groups that the combination of peer learning and a skilled facilitator works yet not everyone has access to a local Master’s Group. So we are launching an online learning experience that we are calling Dive In Groups or DIG that will combine peer learning, technology and the leadership of an outstanding resource person.
Most Dive In Groups will involve one session a month for three months with follow-up assignments between sessions that are directly related to your local church situation. Participation in a Dive In Group is by application and the registration fee of $250 includes all materials, any books or other resources and Internet time. To allow maximum participation, the size of a Dive In Group will normally be seven pastors.
Our first Dive In Group will launch this spring around the issue of “Developing a Leadership Culture in Your Church” and be led by Dan Reiland, the Pastor’s Coach,” recognized as one of the best leadership coaches for pastors and churches in the country. The sessions will be May 10, June 6 and July 19. For more information about participating in this first Dive In Group, contact me or Warren Schuh Dan will be joining is on the April 19th Pastor’s Resource Call so you will want to register for that call.
Through our new “Soul Care” and Dive In Groups in addition to our existing Pastor’s Resource Calls, ALL In publication, Master’s Groups and other resources, we are looking forward to serving you and helping you fulfill the dream and vision God has given you for your church.