Friday, October 11, 2013
Blessing Ranch Covenant Group
Last week, I spent several days in Livermore, CO at Blessing Ranch. Since 1992, Blessing Ranch has been a place where thousands of pastors and their wives have retreated to receive the best Pastor Care available in the country.
Yes, I said Pastor Care, not Pastoral Care. Many people throughout the world have received care from their pastors, but Blessing Ranch is focused on giving care to pastors and their families. Dr. John Walker and his team have a fantastic reputation for reviving the ministries of many pastors over the years.
Recently, Alan Ahlgrim, former Senior Pastor of Rocky Mountain Christian Church, began organizing Covenant Groups for pastors at Blessing Ranch. That was the purpose of my visit. I spent several days with 2 Senior Pastors and Dr. Ahlgrim.
My experience was nothing short of life-changing.
There are many conferences out there that focus on professional development. I've attended many of those events. But nowhere else, has my soul been cared for like it was last week at Blessing Ranch.
Whether you realize it or not, your pastor is probably the loneliest person in your church. Our calling is to minister to people, but often we lack meaningful, deep, and transparent relationships. We know how to talk about the importance of community, but many of us lack true community. And that is recipe for disaster.
Don't get me wrong. I've been surrounded by caring, spiritual, and wise people for the past 10 years. I also have mentors who regularly speak into my life. I'm blessed in my relationships.
But in the past 5 years, no conference, event, or group has nourished my soul and clarified my calling like my Covenant Group last week at Blessing Ranch. There I found a rare combination of intentional soul-care, Sabbath, a helpful mentor, caring peers, and vulnerable dialogue with people who are choosing to do life together for the next few years and beyond.
I am returning to my ministry more assured of my calling, more committed to loving my people, and more clear about my identity as a child of God.
I look forward to future times with my Covenant Group.
If you would like more information about a Covenant Group at Blessing Ranch, check out the website at www.blessingranch.org/578-2/conversations. And if you'd like to talk more with me about it, feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com.