Intentional Community

by Fred Stewart, published May 1, 2013 in The Presbyterian Record

As I write this, the March issue of the Record has been available for only a couple of weeks. In that time I have had more feedback about my article, Minding the Minister, than I have received for all the things I have ever written for public consumption combined. I hit on something significant: many ministers in our denomination are burning out.

This is a problem worthy of our attention. What is needed is focus and strategy. After consultation with our national board over the past year and a presentation to our annual general meeting at the beginning of March this year, I believe the Renewal Fellowship has both.

While renewal, in all of its facets, can be an overwhelming agenda, focusing on ministers is strategic. Their capacity and potential for renewal impacts congregations directly. Their spiritual health directly influences the spiritual health of their people. Their ability to model discipleship in their own lives gives leadership to their peers and their people.

Our strategy can be simply stated but will need much more than we alone can bring to the table. It needs the help of every part of our church. We need the help of our courts, our national offices, our laity, our theological schools and our ministers themselves. That is still not enough. Our strategy needs the prayers of all of us … Read More