Galatians 6:9 challenges us to, “…Let us not become weary in doing good…” If Christians fall prey to that, how much more pastors? And if pastors, then how much more those who care for and support pastors! Since a significant part of what we do involves supporting those in ministry, we find that every so often we need refreshment. So, where do we go? CareGivers Forum!
Although the name suggests a group of people who care for infirm or older adults, in reality it’s a vital group of people all committed to supporting, encouraging, restoring and renewing pastors and their families. You may have never heard of the CareGivers Forum because it’s really a “non-organization” organization. Called into being by clergy care ministries, it has no formal charter or by-laws or board, and does not possess a 501(c)3. It exists solely to provide a forum for those whose ministry it is to support pastors.
This past month most of the Pinnacle staff journeyed to Rome, GA, and the WinShape Retreat (founded by the Chick-fil-A folks) to worship, listen, learn and teach with other clergy support people. We were privileged to be taught every day by the penultimate clergy encourager, H.B. London. Many of you might remember H.B. as the founder of the pastoral support ministry of Focus on the Family, an arm of Focus that has helped literally thousands of pastors. Since CareGivers Forum (or CGF) is not a large gathering (only about 150 attenders this year), it provided a platform for interaction with H.B. on a very personal level. We were blessed as he opened his heart, challenged us, admonished us and just loved on us. I know I went away with a renewed commitment to the value of the ministry we do.
Why are we telling you about this event? Primarily because one of the greatest blessings it brings to us is a blessing for you. At one CGF or another, we get to rub shoulders with just about everyone in the clergy care and support ministry. Have you ever had a need, and just weren’t sure who to call? Give us a jingle and we can make some well-informed recommendations. Ministries as diverse as small “mom and pop” retreat houses to therapeutic restoration centers all come to CGF, and we’ve met them all. Because small groups are an integral part of CGF, over the years we’ve listened to and prayed together with most of the people in clergy care ministries in the US. Consequently, we have a real feel for both their skill levels and their hearts.
CGF runs a directory on their website of all the organizations that have participated in the Forum over the years, and that’s a great place to start. It’s broken down by ministry types and geographical locations and will give you a feel for “what’s out there” (www.caregiversforum.org). Then give us a call, and we can help you “fine tune” you decision. Desiring a sabbatical and not sure where to start? Needing some alone time to reconnect with God? Need to get away, but want to take your family to a clergy-friendly place? Desire a “marriage tune-up” for you and your spouse? Perhaps you need some guidance to delve deeply into your soul and recover your passion? Or need some specific, therapeutic help to overcome a persistent struggle? All that and more can be found within the family called CareGivers.
H.B. challenged us that, “If you don’t have a dream, you don’t have a passion; if you don’t have a passion, you don’t have a vision.” Our dream, our passion, our vision is to help pastors and their families flourish in some of the most challenging times of ministry I’ve ever seen. If we can help your passion, give us a call – we’ve been recharged, so we’re ready to help!