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What Makes Us Different?

Group of standing stone leadership and shepherds


There are an increasing number of coaching services, online gatherings, and in-person conferences to care for ministry leaders. Recognizing the increasing need for clergy care, denominations and ministries across the country have launched leader health initiatives, retreat opportunities, and online cohorts.

What makes Standing Stone different?

Several things make our organization unique in the leader-care space, but we recently discussed two distinctive at our gathering of shepherds from the South Central region. As a ministry, we are safe and we are free.

Some of our shepherds from Missouri, Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, and Alabama (pictured above) gathered this week to continue our training, equipping, and worship. We spent time on organizational details such as our recent shift to a new giving platform, Virtuous software’s Raise Donors. We spent time in prayer and worship. We continued our trauma-care training. And we discussed The Standing Stone Way of Leader Care and our new Wholeness Inventory.

All of these things impact our ability to offer safe and free care to ministry leaders across the US and in many nations around the world.

We cannot give cost-free care to ministry leaders without an army of donors. Many of you are part of that. Thank you! Our recent shift in giving software will enable Standing Stone to further reduce operational costs, including credit card fees associated with your generous contributions. Every single donation allows our team of 200+ shepherds to care for more ministry leaders. Again, thank you.

At this week’s gathering in NW Arkansas, our team also reflected on the truth that we cannot offer the kind of care we are called by God to offer–care that leads to freedom in Jesus–without deliberate attention to our own wholeness in Christ. That’s the primary reason Standing Stone’s Wholeness Inventory was created. Our shepherds will use this tool in caring for ministry leaders, but before we do that, we are using it within our family of teams, our cohorts, to stay healthy, whole, and free ourselves. We cannot help ministry leaders stay free or find freedom without being free ourselves. Each of our five gatherings of shepherds this spring–in California, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and Arkansas–included a special focus on the Wholeness Inventory.

Each of our gatherings also highlighted The Standing Stone Way of Leader Care. We offer safe, confidential, cost-free care to ministry leaders because that’s what God has called us to do. We provide a safe space for ministry leaders to process what they have faced, are facing, and will face in the future. We do that because we know that pastors, missionaries, and parachurch workers have experienced challenging circumstances, just like the rest of us. Some have traumas influencing their ministries. Equipped by God’s Spirit, we aim to care with wisdom and confidentiality for each ministry leader that comes to us.

Our ministry is safe and free. We’re glad those two words make us different. And we will continue to offer that care as long as God allows us to do so. We are grateful that so many of you partner with us.

Weekly Encouragement

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NLT

These verses beautifully express what God has called us to do as Standing Stone shepherds. We are to–before everything else–praise our merciful Heavenly Father. We worship Jesus and fellowship with God the Holy Spirit. And God Himself comforts us. What an indescribable gift.

We are then called and equipped by God to comfort others with the same comfort He’s given us. It’s a privilege that we embrace and seek to live into with wisdom, humility and passion.

Here’s some great news: you don’t need to be called to be a Standing Stone shepherd to comfort others with the comfort you’ve received from God. You’ve gone through things and learned things that you can share with others through His grace.
How might you step into that more deliberately today?


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