Peer Learning Groups
Peer learning groups are generally made up of four to eight pastors who meet together for one year of study, encouragement and support.
Six Korean pastors in California comprise the Explorers of Faith group, which seeks to understand the life of their congregation in an incarnational way. Their focus is on sharing gifts and talents with one another, so they might apply them both to their pastoral ministry and their outreach to unbelievers and new Christians.
The six New Jersey pastors of the Fellowship & Formation group meet together with the focus of developing effective leaders for mission focused churches. The group has committed to growing together by developing their spiritual discipline in Bible reading, journaling, and prayer. The group shares a common desire to learn from one another and explore ministry resources. One pastor said, “It has been a positive experience for all of us knowing we have a group of five other pastors who are firmly in our corner, willing to listen and share advice and prayer whenever we need it.”
The Korean Reformed Worship Study Group consists of eight Korean pastors from Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois who gather together with the focus of studying the Reformed worship tradition and adapting it to a Korean church context. Through dialogue and group study, their goal is to find “a worship model that fits our churches and prepare ourselves to lead in worship ministries.”
The five pastors of the Cross Cultural Church Partnership Exploration group meet in British Columbia to “investigate and explore cross-cultural partnerships between churches for the purpose of mutual edification.” With a special focus on cultural and poverty issues, particularly in Africa, these pastors share a mutual interest in partnering with churches cross-culturally. One member shared, “I love watching the dialogue that we have been having; seeing it reshape itself as we hear each other and new voices. I think there is openness in the group to this kind of learning.”
The Exiles is a group of four pastors and their spouses from California and Washington. Their focus is on exploring pastoral excellence for engaging in emerging and missional ministry. When asked what they have learned in their group so far, one member replied, “I’ve been amazed at the different models for ministry that we’ve seen (in each other and some of the folks that we’ve rubbed shoulders with). I’m reminded that saying ‘yes’ to God’s call looks differently for all who answer.”
Joel’s Dream Team is made up of ten pastors from Alberta. The focus of their group is "intergenerational worship and ministry". Karen Wilk, group coordinator says, "Our discussions and reflections have been inspiring, convicting, and challenging. One of our team members commented, ‘This has been the best balcony experience I have had in 20 years!’"
To read an article written by Karen on their topic click here.
The Preaching Group is located in Ontario where group members meet to "grow in their skills of excellent preaching". Group coordinator Jack De Vries says, "Our greatest reward has been growing in collegiality. There have been times we have laughed so hard it hurt, but other times we have shared deep spiritual or ministry struggles."
To read about the Advent sermon series that this group has prepared click here.
Eyes Wide Open is a peer learning group located in Michigan. This group of six pastor couples meet together to explore "the challenges of change in the established church". Tony Meyer, group coordinator, says: "The change process is difficult not only for a church but for a pastor and the pastor's family as well. It has been wonderful to glean wisdom, insight and encouragement from books, speakers and each other. Hopefully we will be able to lead the change process, big or small, in an effective way in order to build God's kingdom!" More...
To read an article written by Tony on the topic of change and the relationship between the pastor and the church click here.
The six members of the West Coast Peer Learning Group meet together in British Columbia to discuss the "challenges of the future in worship and outreach". "We have come to appreciate how the words we speak in worship need to include focus on the kingdom of Christ and his message of justice and peace," comments Tom Bomhof, the group’s coordinator.
Five Asian cultures are represented in the Asian American Pastoral Ministry. This diverse group of pastors is focusing on "the challenges of pastors who are recent immigrants". Since these pastors are spread out all over the US, they have created a website that allows them to connect. Group coordinator Fernando del Rosario says, "we opened this group site to exchange photos, sermons, questions, issues, and challenges that come our way. Since we're miles away from each other, we hope this is going to be a useful way to keep in touch." More...
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