Grow in Grace provides collaborative opportunities for pastors to learn from one another and to gather with peers celebrating similar ministry milestones.
The work Grow in Grace does under the mentoring & retreats goal is called Pastor Partners.
Pastor Partners Initiative
Pastor Partners is an initiative of Grow in Grace that seeks to provide a system of support and encouragement for pastors from “seminary to sunset” – from seminary graduation through retirement. While being thankful for the rich blessing of support and encouragement that often happens informally brother to brother, Pastor Partners seeks to enhance that support by making more formal avenues of encouragement readily available. Pastor Partners does that through two current initiatives.
Pastor Partners Mentoring
In cooperation with the synod’s Conference of Presidents, Pastor Partners provides trained and experienced pastoral mentors for Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary graduates for the first three years of their ministry. These pastoral mentors seek to provide more regular and focused ongoing support than can often be given by a young pastor’s circuit pastor and other pastoral brothers in his area. In fact, one of the key goals of the mentoring initiative is to help that young pastor build and strengthen ties both to his circuit pastor and other ministry peers as well as building and strengthening ties with his congregations’ lay leaders.
A future goal of Grow in Grace is to study expanding on the concept of mentoring new pastors by providing trained pastoral-coaches to experienced pastors who might also like such focused support as they pursue lifelong growth in all their callings.
Pastor Partners Retreats
Coordinated with the mentoring element of Pastor Partners are four Celebrations of Ministry retreats for pastors and wives at key ministry milestones. These retreats are:
Remaining in Grace for pastors & spouses marking the 35th anniversary of their graduation;
Excelling in Grace for pastors & spouses marking the 25th anniversary of their graduation;
Renewed in Grace for pastors & spouses marking the 10th anniversary of their graduation; and
Begun in Grace for pastors & spouses marking the 3rd anniversary of their graduation.
The Bible studies renewed my eagerness to serve. The fellowship was wonderful; it was so fun to catch up with everyone. We hadn’t seen anyone there since graduation.
Feedback from 2014 retreat
Pastor Partners was begun with generous grants that enabled these initiatives to get off the ground. However, now both the mentoring and the retreats are supported directly by the congregations whose pastors benefit from these initiatives. Many congregations have realized that encouraging their pastors (and spouses) to participate in Pastor Partners mentoring and celebrations of ministry is indeed a wise investment in gospel ministry.