Hey friends! I became acquainted with a ministry to pastors called Standing Stone Ministry. A friend of mine began working with them, so I decided to go online and look at the ministry for myself. The Holy Spirit quickly prompted me to investigate further. Before the day was over, I submitted an application to be a shepherd. On the next business day, I received a phone call from the Southeast Director. He made me aware of next steps and the upcoming training in Nashville, TN on July 15-16. I sensed such an urgency in my spirit to go in July, although it was within 3 weeks of my initial phone conversation. The clincher is that I have to raise financial support to be a shepherd and even raise it for the training. As of this moment, I still need a few more people who will financially partner with me.
So, why would I pursue a ministry where I would have to raise financial support?
- Missionaries do it. They go to their particular area of calling after raising support to reach this people group.
- Pastors and paid staff are financially supported by those who give to the Lord through the local church. They could not be financially supported without the obedience of those who are obedient to the Lord and believe in the work of God through His church.
- Most importantly, I know God has called me to pastor those who serve in Christian ministry. These are often the most neglected. They are expected to dispense ministry while few pour their lives back into them.
Why would I pursue a ministry like this when some denominations have people who serve similar roles?
- Many pastors will not reach out to such leaders for fear of judgment or losing their job.
- Many pastors and church leaders are not affiliated with a denomination and need someone.
- Many pastors and church leaders need someone objective who will minister to them.
When I stepped away from the church I planted, I had already completed 22 years of ministry. I knew the pressures of being an associate staff member in churches of up to 600 while also knowing the pressures of being a small church pastor and church planter. I was depleted, depressed, and discouraged. I knew I was not alone, so I began to reach out to pastors by asking how I could pray for them. God began to do some big things. Even a few weeks ago, a pastor told me something in confidence when he could have very easily kept this to himself. This pastor has trusted me for quite a few years now, and I count it a joy and privilege to be a safe place for him to share what he was experiencing.
Maybe God is calling you to partner with me, either prayerfully or financially. I encourage you to click on the link below and read about this great ministry. If God leads you to give, you can click on my name (Matthew Winters) and be sure to specify that you are giving toward my training. Any gifts beyond training expenses will go to my financial support once I have completed training. Thanks in advance for your prayers and support!