Encounter with God pastors face all the normal challenges of pastoral ministry. Beyond these, however, they face the joy and pressure of leading churches comprised of urban professionals often more accustomed to leading than being led.
Howard Biddulph – founding pastor of the Confraternidad Unicentro Church in Bogota, Colombia – describes the unique challenge of Encounter pastors as “shepherding horses.”
Howard is someone that knows firsthand how the regular engagement with Encounter pastors from across the continent provides the fellowship, inspiration and accountability that leads to healthier ministry and stronger churches.
In Part 2 of a video series highlighting CMI’s Pastor Care Initiative, Howard shares his perspective on the importance of CMI’s efforts to equip pastors through international co-mentoring relationships.
CMI will be hosting two special retreats for Encounter pastors and their wives in the next four months. Please pray for these events. Also, if the Lord would so lead you, please consider a gift to sponsor a pastor’s participation.
Introduction:In 1983, Howard Biddulph helped launch Encounter with God in Bogotá, Colombia. Vital to his ministry was an international group of pastors that met regularly for prayer and mutual support. In 2015, Howard attended a CMI-sponsored Pastors Circle Retreat held in Cali, Colombia…
Howard: These pastors, ministering to middle and upper class people face unique challenges.
You know, when you’re dealing with people that are leaders, it’s not the same. Shepherding horses, somebody said, instead of sheep.
I think pastors everywhere live a very lonely existence; there’s no place you can go to share your problems. I believe the first thing that I found in these area meetings of leaders was fellowship. I was starved for fellowship.
Here during these days, we’ve had so many belly laughs, I mean just the kind of thing that is so close to the heart of God.
I found a lot of inspiration. I’m not very good at coming up with new programs, but boy I’m great at copying somebody else who has seen something that really works in their church; that’s what we did.
And then I simply find the accountability that takes place when pastors get together and the opportunity to inspire each other to check up on each other. It’s a place where you can really make sure that your heart stays clean and your ministry stays engaged.
Across Latin America, you’d be amazed at how few churches there are that can seriously address people’s problems. And that’s why I think the multiplication of these groups across Latin America is a tremendous idea.