Reframing the Challenges of Ministry:
Extended Workshops for Pastors in established congregations

The Future Isn’t What It Use to Be


Over the last decade, many well-established CBFNC congregations, most serving urban areas, have called younger pastors. Energetic, creative, and eager to introduce innovation and new approaches to outreach and ministry, these pastors inherit the complex challenges of leading historic congregations through a changing environment of declining memberships, shrinking budgets, reductions in staff, aging facilities beset by deferred maintenance and increased costs, a challenging social and political climate, and changing urban contexts. The administrative demands brought about by these changes consume time and energy and threaten to diminish attention to the arts of ministry: pastoral care, worship, sermon preparation, reflection and prayer. Helping congregations navigate these realities while attending to spiritual and pastoral needs is identified by many of these leaders as essential to their success and well-being.

CBFNC’s Helping Pastors Thrive program will provides a series of workshop retreats that will allow pastors to learn and share insights with peers and mentors. By exploring the tensions in topics commonly faced by these congregations — such as the impact of facilities costs on mission, governance structure and staff leadership, effective volunteer leadership and planning, and staffing for the future rather than for the past — pastors will discover from one another new ways to frame discourse around decline, loss, change, and transition.

Each retreat workshop would also include time to rediscover practices central to pastoral practice and identity: proclamation and preaching, bible study, spiritual formation, and pastoral care. Mentors would be recruited for these workshop retreats based upon interest and experience related to the topics.