For some time now, I’ve been meeting with a young man enrolled in a pastoral internship program through his local church. He heard about Standing Stone from a fellow ministry leader who told him, “If you’re not meeting with a Standing Stone shepherd, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.” (I should hire that guy to do PR!)
After hearing more, this ministry-leader-in-training—we’ll call him Jeff**— reached out to me. I affirmed how wise it was of Jeff to prioritize personal spiritual growth while learning how to lead in a church role. And let me tell you, meeting with this guy is a joy. He’s willing to tackle topics most 20-year-olds aren’t even aware of, and he does so with openness and vulnerability. If we can get more pastors-in-training like Jeff, we’re going to build God’s Church exponentially.
Because I was once in Jeff’s shoes and remember taking the words of older pastors as gospel truth, I take my role as his shepherd seriously. It’s humbling to know that what I share can impact his ministry journey for a long time to come, so I approach each of our meetings with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to use me as He sees fit.
Sometimes we talk about a resource or look at a ministry or personal assessment tool; we may focus on one area of health—spiritual, physical, emotional, etc. Other times we simply cover relevant topics as they come up. It’s an organic process in which Jeff and I are embracing the journey of discovery together. The great thing about serving God is that, as I shepherd Jeff, he sharpens me, too.
Jeff’s given me a virtual blank check, inviting me to speak into ministry issues along with deep soul issues like parental wounds and the relationship dynamics surfacing with his fairly serious girlfriend. I’m honored that God uses me to plant seeds in his life. I’m confident that, that when the normal wear and tear of ministry presses on Jeff, he won’t be overcome by the storm. And that is why I do what I do. That’s why Standing Stone exists.
**Names and some ancillary details have been changed to ensure confidentiality