CMI Pastor’s Circle Aims to Buttress Spiritual Health of Encounter Church Leaders

Encounter pastors from various Latin American countries gather at the CMI sponsored Pastor’s Circle Retreat.

One of the lesser recognized, but vitally important ways that your prayers and support make a difference is through our ministry to pastors. Through one-on-one consultations, pastors workshops and mentoring we are actively engaged in walking alongside those called to lead the Church.

Over the past year we have been blessed to be a catalyst for a new initiative that we call the Pastors’ Circle. Under the leadership of CMI’s Ricardo Diaz, the Pastors’ Circle is a semi-annual retreat for a small group of Encounter with God pastors representing 7 cities and 6 different countries. They come together with “veteran” Encounter leaders to rest, share burdens, study Scripture, pray and consider fresh perspectives on how to implement and advance the principles of the Encounter with God vision that we share in common.

Pastors frequently experience loneliness, pressures of unhealthy expectations from themselves and others, and a lack of space for rest and refreshment. Add to this the fact that as senior leaders they are the ones others turn to for shepherding, counsel and pastoral care, but have few they can look to for their own needs.

Such pressures are magnified among Encounter pastors. They live and breathe in the hectic hustle and bustle of major cities. They serve congregations comprised of strong, capable lay leaders — a blessing, but one that adds pressure to keep pace with those they serve. And they lead large, dynamic congregations with few parallels in their own cities.

This makes it more difficult to find other pastors that truly understand their ministry contexts. In walking with churches for many years, we recognize these pressures significantly impact the health of pastors and consequently the health of churches. If we are to develop healthy, multiplying, city-discipling churches, the health of pastors is an imperative.

The Pastors’ Circle is a key step in that direction. By God’s grace we are producing a model of pastoral friendship and accountability aimed at securing fruitful ministry for years to come. Lord willing, this will be multiplied across the continent. Imagine the impact of a growing body of gifted, dynamic leaders, secure in their calling, deepening their walk with Christ, strengthened through fellowship with peers and refreshed to face the slings and arrows of ministry.

Thank you for your prayers and support that help us serve as catalysts to build the churches (and the leadership) that will disciple nations for Jesus Christ.

In Christ,