‘Few understand the unique experience of us pastors and our loved ones…Though we are surrounded by crowds, we are often lonely. Though we are expected to affirm and encourage, we are often the brunt of criticism. Though we may have many “fans,” what we really crave are friends. Though we are leaders and teachers, we also need to be led and taught. Though we are providers of love and support, we also need to be loved and supported. Though we must be strong for others, we often feel weak and inadequate.”
– Scott Sauls, Senior Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville
Author of Jesus Outside the Lines: A Way Forward for Those Who Are Tired of Taking Sides
Scott’s words cut me like a knife. At PastorServe, we daily observe the unique challenges of pastors. In 2015, more pastors turned to PastorServe than ever in our fifteen years of ministry. Never before have we encountered so many pastors who feel as if there is nowhere to go to unload their crushing burden.
At PastorServe, 2015 will be remembered as the year of answered prayer, amplified opportunity and increased partnerships.
PastorServe Book Series
There were many answered prayers at PastorServe in 2015. For many years, we have asked the Lord to open doors to allow us to spread our message through mass media. We never anticipated David C Cook approaching us to write books targeted to pastors. This September, Survive or Thrive was released. On May 1, 2016, Pastors are People Too will be released. Books are opening new doors for ministry opportunity. There is a severe deficiency in the number of books targeting pastors and the unique challenges they face. David C Cook has committed to continuing to partner with PastorServe to reach pastors. We are excited to see where this leads in the years to come.
In 2015, there were numerous new opportunities for ministry. PastorServe was asked to serve more denominations and networks around the country than ever before. Serving often takes the form of attending their annual denominational convention and making ourselves available to pastors who want to meet with someone outside their tribe. In January, seven members of the PastorServe team traveled to the Wesleyan gathering in Orlando, Florida where we served more than two hundred pastors through individual meetings. We returned to Orlando with a team in June to serve the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. In addition to connecting with more than one hundred pastors, we led two seminars. In October, we served a pastor’s gathering aboard a cruise ship. Just a couple of weeks ago, a PastorServe team traveled to Austin to serve the Evangelical Free Church in America. More denominations are seeing the need for a grace based, Gospel driven, confidential ministry to serve their pastors. PastorServe has been honored to step into that role.
Just this fall, PastorServe lead pastoral gatherings in Kansas City, Atlanta, Austin, Colorado Springs, Green Bay, Sacramento and St. Louis. The book series is creating new avenues for ministry – many which are unprecedented. Last February, we hosted a pastor’s breakfast in Kansas City, which was attended by 250 pastors. Our agenda was simple – to bless pastors! Many pastors attending the gathering couldn’t believe that there was not an underlying agenda. Our goal was to serve an excellent breakfast, provide a high level speaker (Dayton Moore, GM of the World Champion Kansas City Royals, hit the ball out of the park) and bless them with resources (two excellent books and a Royals hat!).
There is so much more to report! I could share details of our recent Haiti pastors conference, our increasing prayer ministry, our partnership with Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company and our growing staff. Most importantly, more and more pastors and ministry leaders are turning to PastorServe. And by God’s amazing grace, we are making a difference – in the lives of pastors, their families, their churches and ultimately, in their communities. In these times, PastorServe is needed more than ever.
I know that we cannot accomplish our important calling apart from partners like you. Please consider making a year-end gift to help us take a step of faith as we launch into 2016. And – please consider becoming a PastorServe monthly partner in 2016. There are tens of thousands of pastors leading churches that need to know that there is a place they can turn for care, coaching, resourcing, encouragement, direction and counsel.
If you are willing to partner with us financially, you may give a secure online gift through our web site at www.pastorserve.net.
Our job at PastorServe is to surround pastors and ministry leaders in an environment of encouragement. I Thessalonians 5:12-13 reads,
“We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work.”
May you and your family have a wonderful and blessed Holiday season as we together celebrate the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Grace, Peace and Strength in Jesus Christ,
Founder and President