While a vibrant Christianity continues to thrive in some pockets and contexts, there is also widespread concern that much of the evangelical church scene today lacks spiritual vitality and missional impact. There is an epidemic of biblical illiteracy, compromise, division, disunity, and spiritual struggle. The Devil hates Christ’s church and wants to destroy it, and he often does so by imploding churches and their leaders from the inside-out. Pastors are on the front lines and they desperately need friendship from their peers, resources and input to guide them, and refreshment for their souls.
As a pastor I know all too well the need for personal and professional renewal in the midst of the battle. Over the years I have experienced such renewal in various settings, but none like at Mount Hermon. Years ago, when I took a mini-sabbatical, I came to Mount Hermon and curled up with books, long walks, and spent needed time with the Lord. Additionally when I came to Mount Hermon each summer as a camper I was refreshed, renewed and transformed as God used the speakers, worship leaders, staff, family and friends to bring me back to where I needed to be. God uses this place to embolden His leaders to keep going, and keep going strong.
I’m pleased to announce that Mount Hermon is partnering with Western Seminary in their Center for Pastoral Flourishing. Western Seminary, whose main campus is located in Portland, Oregon, is committed to helping pastors thrive. With two satellite campuses in California within driving distance of Mount Hermon (Milpitas and Rocklin), Western Seminary and Mount Hermon have formed a partnership where area pastors will gather in peer learning cohorts on a quarterly basis at Mount Hermon. There will be ten or so pastors per cohort, and they will be led by myself and others who will pour into their lives. We also plan to host a yearly pastor and spouse marriage retreat to provide needed encouragement for the marriages of these dear leaders and spouses who are under tremendous pressure and attack.
These pastoral cohorts will focus on five ministry areas that will help pastors not just survive, but thrive.
They will be focused on …
- spiritual formation
- emotional and cultural intelligence
- marriage and family
- leadership and management
Mount Hermon’s mission statement emphasizes that we exist as a ministry to serve the Church, both locally and around the world. One of my life joys is spending time with pastors, praying with them, encouraging them, resourcing them, and helping them reconnect with the Lord. Pastors need to be shepherded and nurtured in order to grow in their walk with the Lord, just like anyone else. This will be happening all the more at Mount Hermon through this partnership with Western Seminary. Praise God!
And … please pray for your pastor and their spouse. Encourage them. Tangibly show them your love and support. Let them know you are on their side. Today is a great day to do just that!