We care about healthy pastors & healthy churches...
Over the last 5 years, Sojourn Network has become known for its emphasis on the health of its pastors and churches. This focus on the soul of our pastors and on the health of our churches is intentional and personal. With pastors leaving the ministry in unprecedented numbers due to burnout, exhaustion, and overextending themselves, we want to provide various forms of supplemental care to our pastors, their teams, and their churches. The experience of supplemental care is deeply treasured and represents one of the essential reasons Sojourn Network exists. For a thorough treatment on what we mean by "care," see this paper written by Dave Harvey.
Care Is Vertical
True soul-care springs from our relationship with God and flows first and primarily from our fellowship with him. Recognizing this will help our churches understand why our emphasis on soul care includes applications of rest, personal devotions, Bible meditation, Sabbath, the ordering of our loves, and more. We are convinced that the care of one’s soul is directly connected to our passion for Jesus and the devotional rhythms of our lives.
Care Is Relational
Care flourishes through catalytic, horizontal relationships that spring from trusted, compassion-filled friendships and flow from one pastor to the other. This value has shaped why we do annual conferences as well as our objectives of our coaching cohorts, where we provide a growing number of network pastors an opportunity for training in the context of relationship with other men.
Care Means Presence
Network pastors and churches will experience the care of the network through the physical presence of Strategist visits and Coaching Cohorts, as well as through our annual Lead Pastors & Wives' Retreat. We share meals, swap updates, discuss church matters and think together through leadership challenges.
Care Means Crisis
Crisis is no stranger to the local church and its leadership. As long as the local church exists, there will inevitably be times of crisis that challenge our faith, shake us to our core, and require us to examine our calling and hope. In these moments, our hope is that a pastor can turn immediately to those in their context (i.e., his local plurality, his family, and wise local counselors). But, we also recognize the wisdom in having wise, extra-local, supplemental relational and financial resources available to help guide a pastor in and through these unique and trying times. When a local church leader needs immediate counsel and care, Strategists are available to interpret the problem and and customize an appropriate response. The network seeks to serve elders in crisis, not displace them. If the network’s involvement is effective, the local church leaders should experience a compassionate, faith-filled presence that conveys hope, stirs courage, and helps create a wise plan for progress.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do we mean when we say "care"?
For a thorough treatment on what we mean by "care," see this paper written by Dave Harvey.
In times of crisis, does Sojourn Network have any authority over a local church?
No. Our crisis intervention is always in service and in submission to the local church. Network leadership does not hold any authority over its churches or pastors and, thus, cannot remove a pastor for his position regardless of the crisis.