Friday, March 07, 2014
Blessing Ranch Covenant Group (Part Deux)
covenant group at Blessing Ranch. You can read about my first group time here. It was a life-changing experience that I would encourage any minister to consider.
Many people don't know about the loneliness of ministry.
Less than 25% of Christian men surveyed have a close male friend right now.
But get this: For ministers, the percentage is even smaller. Less than 5% of ministers have a close friend. In other words in a room of 100 ministers, fewer than 5 of them have a close friend!
There are many reasons for this tragic statistic:
1) Many ministers have been burned by a friend in the past. We don't know who to trust.
2) Some ministers have allowed the institutional hierarchy of his/her church to keep him/her away from meaningful relationships within the body. Who wants to be friends with a minister?
3) Ministers have allowed their ridiculous schedules and inability to say "no" to allow us little time for building relationships. Who has time for a close friend?
4) Some ministers have built a public facade that cannot withstand the scrutiny of a close relationship. If I have a close friend, he/she will see through my stage act.
5) We forget that ministry is about people and not about programs.
Regardless of your agreement with the reasons I've stated above, this trend of shallow relationships for ministers should concern us.
We know how to preach about community, but very few of us have any community to truly speak of.
These stats have to change.
And Alan Ahlgrim (and others) is giving his life to see these statistics change. Alan, the former Senior Pastor of Rocky Mountain Christian Church, has put together several covenant groups in his first year as Director of Covenant Groups for Blessing Ranch.
Today, I am able to say that I am in covenant with three other ministers who are committed to talking monthly and connecting face-to-face semi-annually for several days of reflection, disclosure, discovery, and discernment.
This past week was such a blessing to me. Here are a few pictures I took from my time on the Ranch:
Here is a picture looking from the guest house at the vistas directly above Blessing Ranch: