When I first started planting I did a really smart thing, I sought out a bunch of other planters and potential planters and invited them to meet in a Tim Hortons for prayer once a week. We actually saw a plant get birthed out of those times from one of the potential folks, very cool. But what often happens is that life crams in and these things become less of a priority. I remember fighting hard to keep this, it was a powerful blessing to my own ministry, but eventually it went to the wayside.
I have been without a regular pastoral gathering for quite a while now, not for lack of interest or the odd attempt to restart this, just I've had little time that works well with other peers. Most of us are bi-vocational in some way and pastoral ministry can be very time demanding. The last connection like this was a one-on-one session with a fellow pastor who used to also be an accountability partner. I would like for that relationship to restart, and perhaps it will. But he's pastoring, teaching at two Universities and has two kids! And I think I'm busy.
Today though, I met with three other planting pastors and a wonderful facilitator, Alison Johnson. These meetings have been going on for a few years now and I've only made maybe two other meetings. They often happen when I have classes or other committments. But today I was available and boy was it a good time.
Just like those early meetings I held, we were a mixed bag of evangelicals. Andy from Calvary Chapel, Chris from the Mennonite Brethren and Mark from SoulNet. Andy ran us through a series of questions that helped us frame where we were at devotionally and ministerially. Then we prayed for each other. Man I miss that.
I love prayer at our church, but it dawned on me just how much I need to have prayerful connections outside of our small community. I need those I can bounce my crazy ideas off of. It was good.
I'm hoping to continue, they only meet like that monthly. It might not work too well with my schedule, but one can hope.
A while back I grabbed the name for a second blog, the Praying Pastor. I had the idea of posting prayers as blog content. Now I'm hoping it will have another meaning, that I'm connecting well with my peers and praying with them to see God's glory more and more in my city. After all isn't that what we are doing this for in the first place?