Team Contacts
1.800.622.6549 (LA only)

Bill Robertson, Director Pastoral Leadership Team
ext. 291

JoLynn Chesser, Administrative Assistant
ext. 292

Stacy Morgan, Church Administration Strategist
ext. 293

Dianne York, Administrative Assistant
ext. 231

Eddie DeHondt, Bivocational Smaller Church Consultant - North

Gary Mitchell, Bivocational Smaller Church Consultant - South
ext. 294

Benjamin Harlan, Music Strategist
ext 234


Pastoral Team

Pastor, Is Your Mentoring Well?   

Much is said about “mentoring” today in pastoral ministry.[1]  Some advise that every pastor should be Timothy to a Paul and a Paul to Timothy.  Connecting with a seasoned pastor provides invaluable wisdom.  As well, sharing one’s knowledge with the next ministerial generation is a privilege.  While the origin of “mentor” is traced to ancient poetry, its need could not be more modern.[2]  

Biblical Mandate  

Examples abound in the Scripture for a mentoring relationship that furthered one’s walk with God:  Jethro and Moses; Moses and Joshua; Eli and Samuel; Samuel and Saul; Nathan and David; Elijah and Elisha; Naomi and Ruth; Jesus and the twelve; etc.  While these relationships existed among heroes of the faith, all believers must embrace this ministry as a calling form the Lord.  Mentoring must be received and it must be given. 

Pastor, you mentor congregation members constantly.  Whether intentional or not, you are guiding them in their thinking, response, and growth.  In time, God will provide a mentoring relationship with a ministry student.  This does not always mean that the student will be in the early 20s or even in college/seminary.  Some mentoring is done face-to-face and some will be done keyboard to computer screen.  Either way, your shared experiential wisdom can help the new minister add ministerial maturity to his blessed vocation.

An Example  

Below, you will find a few written reminders from the author to those studying for the ministry.  Many of the recipients are already serving in a church or other ministry organization, but they are formal students pursuing a degree.  

Ministry is a calling. The privileged opportunity of serving the Kingdom through the pastoral/ministerial vocation is a divine opportunity. It is the joy of walking with people thorough the joys and pains of life. Such occasions are transformed into holy ground as God's Word is brought into every situation.

Ministry can be challenging. Some have unrealistic expectations of the minister. Please remember that you ultimately have an audience of ONE to please. Ministry is akin to the practice of medicine or law. Think of it as the practice of ministry. Not all things will be done perfectly. After 19-plus years of ministry, I have been encouraged by seasoned pastors who have publicly shared their difficulties in public forums, such as conferences, etc.

Ministry requires connection. Stay in-tune with your family. Do not sacrifice your loved ones on the altar of ministry. Know that there will be times when you have to miss a family event due to an emergency, but remember that not every need qualifies for your immediate attention. Empower lay leaders for ministry. Take the phone off the hook/turn off phones during family meal times. No one is more important than those gathered around the table.

Ministry requires camaraderie. Ministry can be lonely.  A connection with other ministers through regular meetings is most encouraging.  Fellowship with like-minded peers can be just what is needed to fan the flame of ministerial fervor.

Ministry requires communication. Clear lines of supervision must be established. Whether it is to the deacon body or personnel committee (not both), others must be willingly informed of the minister’s vacation plans, needs, etc. Accountability is critical to integrity.

Ministry may require a change. God may uproot you to transplant in another ministry location or role.  While we strive to “bloom where we are planted,” the Vinedresser may need us in another garden.


Experience.  Were you mentored as a young minister?  Formal education is important, but mentoring generally exists outside the classroom in the field of labor.

Enthusiasm.  Are you looking forward to being a mentor?  Losing the joy of ministry will cause the calling to become a burden.  Ensure your heart is content.

Embrace. Will you engage a mentoring relationship, even if you have never been the recipient of such wisdom?  Ponder some problems you have faced and see if they could have been prevented with seasoned mentorship.

© Jim Fisher, Ph.D.
Christian Education and Leadership Concepts, LLC.
Fit for the Fight, April 2011

[1] Much of the information is taken from the author’s dissertation: The Relationship between Selected Disciplines of Physical Wellness and Spiritual Wellness among Southern Baptist Pastors, 2006.


[2] Mentor was a character in Homer’s Odyssey, circa 1150 BC.

Fit For The Fight - Current Issue

Fit for the Fight 02-2013
Added 6/4/2013 12:02:30 PM

“Pastor, what do you think about leadership?”  February 2013

The myriad usages of  “leadership” often obscure its origination.[1] Etymology reminds us that the meaning finds its roots in the idea of  “guiding, directing, and traveling.”  Consequently, a leader takes someone along on a journey, with a clear destination.

The Leadership Example

Christians seek to be like Him...a servant.  Leading is serving and serving is leading.  The source material for the footprints and fingerprints of Jesus is found in the Bible. Inspiration and direction come from studying Scripture, praying through the revealed Truth.  While there are official titles and positions for leadership, such labels are unnecessary to lead.  Everyone has a circle of influence. 

The use of “lead” and “serve” as synonyms does not diminish the reality of difficulties, disagreements, or debates.  It does mean the presence of a pastoral spirit and an invisible shepherd’s staff.  


Many “leaders” are survivalists, concerned with popularity over principle.  They “lead” by consensus prodding, when often, the courageous minority is right.  Indeed, a “prophet-deficit” has proven to be unbelievably costly.  The goal of leadership is not to have everyone’s approval, affection, and applause.

Matters of style and strengths are inherently connected to any conversation of leadership.  But, what is said about the substance of leadership?  The source of one’s leadership theology and its implementation/application must be foundationally fixed.  Without such security, the leader will vacillate when the winds of adversity blow.  Such a leader is unreliable, disrespected, and marginalized, even though revered as “successful.”

Personal integrity is humbly bound to a core of convictions, founded and grounded in the Scripture.  Such veracity will garner the respect of most, even amidst divergent views.  Belief and behavior must be congruent.  Convictions must be distinguished from preferences.  Confusing the two will sound an unclear trumpet to all.  


Dictionary.  What dictionary are you using to define and defend your use of “leadership?”   The source may determine the course. 

Direction.  Are you drifting away from the Truth?  The wrong book can you lead you away from the Book.  

Discipleship.  Have you forgotten the Great Commission?  Padding your resume by more seats in padded pews is not necessarily obedience. 

© Jim Fisher, Ph.D.  
Christian Education and Leadership Concepts, LLC. 
Fit for the Fight, February 2013 


 [1] Much of the information is taken from the author’s dissertation: The Relationship between Selected Disciplines of Physical Wellness and Spiritual Wellness among Southern Baptist Pastors, 2006.