Pastors Meetings Report

Pastors Meeting IMG_7660 WEBA Pastor’s role is a crucial but often difficult one. On April 20-23, the Man-Sask Conference held Pastors Meetings designed to provide a break for fellowship, ongoing training and exchange of ideas. These meetings book-ended the SEEDS Church Planting Conference to enable Pastors to attend those important meetings as well.

God has laid an audacious goal for growth before the Man-Sask Conference of “double our churches and double our attendance”. This is not just the pastor’s job; it will require each of us living surrendered, prayer-powered lives.  If we do so, God WILL bless us to grow our existing churches and plant new churches. However, this growth will require more lay-leadership; there simply won’t be enough pastors to go around. Far from being a problem, this may simply be our own return to the story of Acts where the apostles primarily trained and encouraged lay-members of both new and growing churches.

To empower pastors to support their members in church planting, church growth and total member involvement, Alex Schlussler was invited to provide training in “coaching” for our entire pastoral team. He is the Field Associate for Lay Training and Leadership Development in the Florida Conference. One of his specialties is the coaching process, which is essentially a set of skills that aims to cooperatively solve problems and achieve goals. It engages people by asking powerful questions, actively listening and aiming to help the member(s) discover a solution of their own rather than the pastor simply telling what them what they think. Pastor Schlussler uses this process to coach pastors, lay-pastors and leaders across Florida who in turn provide the service to other members. Pastor Schlussler provided an overview and resources of how our Man-Sask pastors could use these techniques in personal ministry and with new church plant groups.

Many pastors appreciated the listening skills they learned; “For me, the best thing you can do as a pastor is to have proper listening skills”, said Pastor Lucian Poama, “so you can really make the person feel heard, that’s the biggest thing. It no only impacts my ministry, but my married life.”

Pastor Schlussler’s training helped clarify coaching training some Man-Sask pastors had previously received. Pastor Alex Portillo said “knowing when to switch from a coaching relationship and into a mentoring relationship; knowing the difference between the two is huge.” Mentoring is often done by an experienced expert, whereas a coach doesn’t need to know it all, they’re just helping someone discover the next steps by asking questions.

Pastor Neil Tagarao commented the training made him aware, “that [using] coaching and also mentoring in my conversations, especially for the church planting that I have right now, is really very useful. It is a very precious learning that I will bring back to the ministry I have in Winnipeg.”