There are all kinds of seminars and books a person could have today that offer direction and input in our ministry settings. But there are precious few people we can turn to for honest, Godly, experienced, one-on-one, insightful encouragement. I am reminded of words from the Apostle Paul, “Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.” (I Corinthians 4:15 NIV) It seems to me that Shepherding the Shepherds ministry is in the same stream where Paul was. – Tom Reagan
One reason for high rates of pastoral burnout is an identity crisis. Many of us are people-pleasers by nature, yet we’re not even sure what we are supposed to be: CEO, counselor, preacher/teacher, shepherd… Biblically, God gives us great instruction: Equip the saints for the work of service (Ephesians 4:11-12); teach faithful men who will teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2); Shepherd the flock of God that is among you (1 Peter 5:2). All Christians need encouragement, accountability, and education, but shepherds are in a place where the lies of loneliness and discouragement often take a toll both on the shepherd and the flock. Shepherding the Shepherds addresses these pastoral needs, and your support helps Pastor Brandt help pastors and congregations who (often) are in no position to contribute to the ministry. Thank you for your continued support. – Wade Mobley
Pastor Brandt truly loves two things: Jesus and people. He desires to see every congregation and pastor bloom where God has planted them. Pastor Brandt has offered me Biblical insight, encouragement, admonishment, and inspiration. Time spent with him brings great spiritual refreshment and a hard, but much need, look at what God is calling pastors and congregations to do. Time spent with Pastor Brandt is a like a cool refreshing breeze, on a hot and muggy day. – Pastor Eric Christensen
“It has been a great blessing to have someone willing and available at a moments notice to offer insight, encouragement, and guidance in some of the difficult circumstances pastors find themselves facing…Pastor Brandt’s years of ministry experience and shepherd’s heart have been an inspiration to me…” – Pastor Kirk Flaa, Senior Pastor
Being in full time ministry for the last 10 years, I have longed for coaching and insight to provide direction and encouragement to deal with the challenges that continue to limit my effectiveness. Pastor Brandt’s Shepherding ministry is a blessing to which I believe all pastors and lay ministry leaders should have access. Thank you Pastor B – BH
It is a great blessing to have someone with more pastoral and church experience than I to listen to my ideas and concerns and give me godly feedback. It has at times confirmed the wisdom of my own ideas and at other times I have received a much better approach to try that I would not have considered on my own. – T.S.J. California
Why I need Shepherding the Shepherds…
Ministry can be a long and lonely journey. Frequently pastors have to serve in single-staff situations. I work best on a team. When Pastor Brandt agreed to come on board and support our new church plant, it was like having an experienced teammate on the ministry team. He visits our church two or three times a year, connects with our church’s leadership board, and has a way of gaining trust and friendship.
The other men on our board usually treat me better after one of Mike’s visits here. They start caring and praying for me and my family for regularly. They ask about my family. The elders respond better to my ministry because they know I’m under someone’s care and direction. After four visits here with Mike and Colleen, I’ve seen a better spirit of unity and trust and friendship on the board.
Help for Vision Planning …
- When our church was walking through the waters of transition and growth, Mike was here to listen to my heart. He kept asking, “How is the Lord directing you?” Then he would encourage me to hold to God’s leading. “God has called you to be the pastor,” he would say. “Go ahead and lead.” With a gift for building consensus and yet, the understanding that the pastor is called to be a servant leader (and not just a servant), he became like an older brother and a mentor. “Listen to the Lord and don’t look back,” he would say. “Go with God’s leading.”
- When I begin to doubt, Pastor Mike serves as a reassuring shepherd. He listens and asks questions and prays for our ministry. When I start to waffle, Mike would stand still and encourage me. “Don’t doubt what God directed you to do,” he would say. “Be bold and confident, yet work for a spiritual consensus.” Every pastor needs an encourager.
A Paul, a Barnabas and a Timothy …
- I’ve heard Howard Hendricks say that every man needs a Paul, a Timothy, and a Barnabas. God sends us older mentors to guide us. We need peers like Barnabas to walk with us in life as brothers. And then we need a younger man to teach, train and equip. Mike serves both as a Paul and a Barnabas to me. He doesn’t pretend to stand over me, but he walks along side me – and every pastor needs that. “Encourage one another and build one another up,” Paul told the Thessalonians. Just having someone there who knows the struggles and joys of preaching, teaching and shepherding gives me courage to “remain in Ephesus” longer.
How it works…
- With personal visits, phone calls, and e-mails, I’m getting the support and love and advice that I need. Mike and Colleen meet with us twice a year, spending about three days at a time, meeting with my wife and me and talking to my staff and elders. The leadership team feels that they have someone who can hear them and listen. Mike supports other leaders in the work, and our people come out of those meetings more willing to serve, lead, love and care for people.
Working in a church plant…
- Home missions is a lonely task. Having someone like Pastor Mike is such a help. He has planted churches. He has faced criticism. He has experienced the most difficult of circumstances and still loves to be a pastor. Church planters need an older, veteran shepherd like this. – Jim Johnson, Senior Pastor