Part 1 - Introduction
Are you longing for a safe place in your area to experience on-going encouragement, equipping and motivation for ministry with other pastors and ministry leaders? Our calling as pastors is sacred and we need this from those walking in the same shoes to thrive in life and ministry. Listen to the heart of Pastor Bobby Manning who was responding to peoples’ comments on social media:
“Some of y'all come for pastors on social media like y'all know what this job is like. As if our job is as easy as it looks. As if anyone could do this. You will never know what it's like to be accountable to God for the well-being of people's souls. You will never know what it's like to shepherd people through triumphs and tragedies, riding the emotional roller coaster of your crazy life while trying to manage our own crazy life. You will never know what it's like to have your every move watched, your wardrobe decisions examined, your family under a microscope, and your politics clash with your theology publicly. You will never know what it's like to prepare all week to feed your flock, only to have your every word dissected for grammatical, theological, political, or social error. You will never know the agony of crafting the perfect social media post that balances biblical authority, social conscience, shepherdly love, and stimulating wit, only to post it and to have it judged from every angle. Or (most ridiculously) not post it, and be judged for somehow being "silent on the issues." You will never know what it's like to be judged by your public persona, but never by the thankless faithfulness with which you serve your local flock week in and week out. So, the next time we fall short of your [unrealistic] expectations, consider the possibility that one of the thousand other things on our plate mistakenly distracted us from the one thing on yours... and pray for us. I'm not complaining. This is what I signed up for. I just don't have much patience today for anyone's critiques who have never walked in these J's.”
Our work is amongst the hardest on the planet and we need one another! Do the following testimonies from pastors and ministry leaders who have experienced “consistent renewal” by participating in their local pastor’s clusters (The Band of Brothers) appeal to you?
“As a new church planter, nothing has helped me more to get to know my fellow pastors in the area and know that we are fighting together for the gospel. It is hard to imagine what ministry in this challenging mission field would be like without this network!” Scott
“The Band of Brothers has been a place of safety and encouragement in my calling. The accountability and inspiring example of kingdom mindedness is an invaluable and irreplaceable gift. It has sustained many of us in personal and ministry related ways.” Carlos
“The Band of Brothers is Jesus’ way of reminding me that I am not doing ministry alone.” Matt
“The Band of Brothers is a regular reminder that we are all in this together and that our church is part of a much, much larger story.” John
We have become “friends on mission”. Our relationships have nourished our spiritual health and the health of our congregations. Banding together, we are taking on accountability for saturating Arlington County, Virginia with the gospel in word and deed. We want every man, woman and child (225,000 souls) to have heard and experienced the gospel from one of us! Beyond our Jerusalem and Judea (local churches and Arlington), we are partnering with other networks to reach our Samaria through the OneHeartDC gospel movement (5,000,000 people living in 10 jurisdictions across the Metro Washington, DC region).
Are you interested in learning how to form, lead and sustain a Christ-honoring cluster of pastors and ministry leaders in your area? If so, you don’t have to do it alone. We are here to coach you. Ask God to connect you with other pastors and ministry leaders in your area who share this desire.
I have had the joy of leading our “Band of Brothers” for the past 30 years. The testimonies you just read are from these co-laborers in Christ (there are many more). Over time, I have discovered six essentials (The 6 C’s) for forming, leading and sustaining a Christ-honoring group of pastors and ministry leaders. Over the next 2 weeks, I will make 6 additional posts addressing each of the 6 C’s.
Pastor Steve King has been serving as the Senior Pastor at Cherrydale since October 2 of 1983. Entering his third decade of ministry, the challenges and opportunities are as inspiring to him today as they were more than 30 years ago. Pastor King has watched God accomplish marvelous things in the lives of His people, and under his leadership at Cherrydale, the church family reaches out to all areas of the Northern Virginia/Metropolitan DC region and throughout the world.