In all denominations, one thing is the same: living life in community is both biblical and necessary for a successful Christian life. “Sharing life” in a small group setting empowers and encourages followers of Christ as they grow and serve in their daily lives. But where do pastors go for this vital and personal ministry? When a pastor needs someone to talk to about his family life, marriage problems and balance in the ministry, or concerns about meeting day-to-day challenges – where can he turn? Our prayer is that pastors can turn to Covenant Groups.
WHAT IS A COVENANT GROUP?
Covenant Groups are designed to provide a safe place for pastors of all ages regardless of the size of their local church, as well as a balance in their personal and ministerial needs as they seek to fulfill their responsibilities as spiritual leaders of their congregations and of their city. Connecting people with something in common to provide support and pastoral relationships to be able to effectively serve Christ through their personal callings.
WHY COVENANT GROUPS?
Covenant Groups provide the path for pastors to build relationships with others, in the context of a culture of prayer, empowerment, and encouragement of pastors as they attempt to take the lead in that transformation. Covenant Groups grew out of an Annual Pastors Prayer Meeting in Austin, Texas. Pastors from various denominations joined in prayer and mutual support. It quickly became apparent that pastors of churches of different sizes share a common problem; While they build and encourage their congregations into the environment of “sharing their lives” in small groups, there was no such environment where they themselves could experience the same sense of community. As the spiritual leader of a church, the pastor comes to fill a leadership role that makes a vulnerable person in an intimate setting a difficult task. Covenant Groups are designed to provide practical and meaningful support by a group of peers who can understand the unique struggles and victories for those in ministry. Transforming a city for Christ requires a culture of prayer.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF GROUPS IN COVENANT?
- Covenant Groups are made up of pastors who have different congregation sizes, and pastors of large churches sometimes face ministerial challenges that are difficult for pastors of small churches to understand.
- It is not recommended that the senior pastor and associate pastors or staff be part of the same group.
- As pastors are used to counseling others it is difficult for them to listen to others and ask for prayer.
- One of the challenges is being tempted to solve the problems that another pastor has with theological arguments.
- Pastors need a safe place to be able to speak openly about the personal and ministerial matters in their lives.
- Maintain a spirit of support that crosses denominational barriers.
WHAT THE COVENANT GROUPS ARE AND WHAT THEY ARE NOT
They are not:
- Theological discussions
- Gossip sites
- They are not places to promote business or ministerial events
- You cannot miss more than 25% of the meetings
- Participating with a level of transparency and vulnerability with which each member of the group feels comfortable.
- Commitment to building meaningful relationships.
- Opportunity to pray for each other.
- Attending regularly (70% or more of meetings).
- A place where members receive encouragement and words of encouragement from each other.
- It is recommended that you have fellowship or call the group members between meetings.
HOW THE COVENANT GROUPS ARE DEVELOPED
Covenant Groups are simply formed by pastors willing to meet once a month for prayer and fellowship; they select the day, time and place to meet.
The meetings focus on answering key questions such as:
- How are things going in your ministry, in your family?
- How is your personal walk with Christ going?
- Is there a specific area that you need prayer for?
- Is there a specific area that we can help you with?