Training sessions for all Pastor Partner Mentors are held annually. The most recent training took place on the campus of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary on September 18 and 19, 2018. We’re happy to report that over 90% of all active mentors were able to participate. The specific focus or topic for our training changes from year to year and “Ongoing Support” for mentors and their mentees was the primary focus this time. (For those unable to attend in person, certain sessions were videotaped and later posted on Seminary Online so mentors can access them at their convenience.)
This year we distributed copies of the book Dangerous Calling (by Paul David Tripp, 2012) to all mentors prior to the training sessions and then worked through the content of the book at our face-to-face sessions. The sessions were all begun with devotional presentations and led by the five pastors who serve as our Lead Mentors: Dave Barkow, Jeremiah Gumm, Scott Miller, Stephen Schmiel, and Ben Zahn. Prof. Rich Gurgel and Prof. Em. Forrest Bivens also joined them to lead devotions and discussions among participants. The material in the book led to stimulating, spirited, and extremely practical discussions of how pastors meet challenges in the pastoral ministry and how mentors may serve to equip their mentees to do the same. Breakout Groups and helpful Q & A segments on broader topics, scheduled as part of our training each year, again served us well and will hopefully continue to be of value to the mentors and their mentees. We invite your ongoing prayers for the Pastor Partner program and all the participating mentors who serve.