STANDING STONE SHEPHERDS AND RETREAT SHEPHERDS
The questions and responses below are designed to answer many of the questions you might have and to provide you with much of the information you need to know before contacting us to pursue a decision to join our ministry. It may also be helpful for you to read the biographies of our current Shepherds and Retreat Shepherds.
Standing Stone is a faith-financed ministry, which means that we trust God and depend on the generosity of donors such as individuals, churches or other organizations to support each of our Shepherds. If on-going financial support is needed, it is the responsibility of each Shepherd to build a team that financially supports their work with Standing Stone; allowing them to concentrate on their ministry. Building a financial support team is addressed in the training that each incoming Shepherd receives from Standing Stone.
There are many men and women who feel a call to “shepherd the shepherds.” To carry out this calling, there are those who need to receive a salary from Standing Stone. We have established the ability for our shepherds to work either part-time or full-time with Standing Stone, allowing for maximum flexibility for those currently involved in ministry who also desire to serve as a Standing Stone Shepherd.
Level 1 – Shepherds commit to 15 hours of ministry weekly.
Level 2 – Shepherds commit to 30 hours of ministry weekly.
Level 3 – Shepherds commit to 40 hours of ministry weekly.
Those desiring to serve as Standing Stone Shepherds will quickly discover that they have entered into a ministry partnership with others who honor and support them and will help them receive compensation for their level of service and expenses when shepherding shepherds.
The amounts raised by financial support teams are designed to cover salary for the Shepherd, as well as a monthly contribution of 10% to Standing Stone to help pay for program and operating costs for the ministry, including ongoing training sessions for all new Shepherds.
Some Shepherds are fortunate to be in a position in which they don’t need to draw a salary from Standing Stone. These shepherds do not have a weekly time commitment owed to Standing Stone; instead they are able to “shepherd the shepherds” based on their schedule flexibility. Volunteer Shepherds will be required to raise $100 per month from friends and family who want to partner with them to “shepherd the shepherds”. These funds will be allocated to help cover program and operating costs of the ministry. Volunteer Shepherds may also want to raise additional support to cover ongoing expenses (such as taking pastors to dinner and transportation costs) incurred while working for the Standing Stone Ministry.
It is simple and easy to fill out an application online after your initial inquiry and conversation with a member of our ministry team. You will be asked to provide information on current and past employment in ministry fields and provide references. You can expect the process of evaluating your application information and checking your references to take approximately two weeks.
After your application has been reviewed and approved and you’ve been interviewed, you will be scheduled for a training session designed to equip you to be successful in your ministry with Standing Stone, as well as in building a financial support team.
There will be multiple options for dates and locations within the calendar year. The Standing Stone team will assist you in making the determination on which date and location will be right for you.
The two-day training will begin at 9:00am and finish at 5:00pm on both days. You will be provided with a training manual, snacks, and drinks. All meals and hotel/transportation costs can be reimbursed from the funds you raise before your training session.
You will be asked to sign a partnership agreement that will be renewed each year if mutually agreed upon. This yearly agreement can end early based on written notification by the Shepherd and/or Standing Stone.
Absolutely! We already have both men and women Shepherds and couples serving together as Retreat Shepherd teams at Standing Stone. We highly value men and women who desire to care for ministry leaders and their spouses; to provide a safe harbor where they can process their personal issues and challenges confidentially and safely. Individuals and couples can serve as paid Shepherds (see question #2), Volunteer Shepherds (see question #3) or as Retreat Shepherds (see question #8). Anyone with the appropriate skill set and background who feels called to this ministry is welcome to apply to become a Shepherd at Standing Stone.
Retreat Shepherds serve in a different and unique way. The vast majority of our Retreat Shepherds are seasoned pastoral couples who are matched with a ministry couple for a week-long time of refreshment and reconnection with God and with their spouse. The ministry couples being served are typically pastors and spouses who are burned out, facing major issues in their marriage and/or ministry, and who are in danger of leaving their ministry prematurely. Retreat Shepherds commit to spend seven days and six nights at a donated vacation home where they serve and pamper the ministry couple with whom they have been matched.
Retreat Shepherds receive special training at one of our donated vacation homes where they will experience our Standing Stone retreat model in action. This is a three-day and two-night training and includes meals and housing. The cost of the training and transportation expenses must be raised by the prospective Retreat Shepherds from family and friends who want to partner with them in this wonderful ministry of care.
Our Retreat Shepherds will receive a stipend of $1,600 per couple each time they serve a ministry couple at a Standing Stone retreat. The funds needed to cover the cost of meals and activities for both couples during these retreats will also be provided by Standing Stone.
Yes, all of our Shepherds are asked to raise financial support for their training costs. We ask that they not pay for this out of their own pockets, but invite family and friends to partner with them in the blessings of caring for ministry leaders and their spouses. We require that Shepherds raise these funds from at least two sources.
If you desire to become Retreat Shepherds, the experience of raising financial support will be invaluable as you care for ministry couples around the country and throughout the world. There are people who will be eager to partner with you financially, helping you serve these heroes of the church.
The training cost for paid and un-paid Shepherds is $300. Funds must also be raised to cover: food, housing and travel to the training session.
The training cost for Retreat Shepherds is $2,900 per couple, covering the cost of the retreat which includes housing and meals.