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FAQs about Pastoring of Pastors (PoP)

In One Challenge acronyms are used to describe many ministries and Christian terms. Some acronyms are common, others foreign, and many unique to OC. One such acronym is PoP, standing for Pastoring of Pastors.

To understand the day-in and day-out perspective, here are frequently asked questions answered by a Paraguayan pastor:

Q: What is Pastoring of Pastors all about?

A: For me, it’s the difference between being alone and having close friends who understand me (because they are pastors too). They care about me, encourage me, correct me, challenge me, and teach me. My PoP group is the place I can go to open my heart, be who I really am, and not have to worry about what people may think of me. It’s the only place like that I have found in 30 years of ministry.

Q: How does PoP function?

A: Our group meets for a morning every two weeks. We spend the first hour in a large group with both pastors and their spouses studying a topic of interest, often a chapter of David Kornfield’s book, The Leader Who Shines. Then we break into trios (men and women separate) to respond to accountability questions and to share our needs and pray for each other. Once a month we focus on one person for a mentoring session using the GROW model, in whatever area the person chooses.

Q: Who is in your group?

A: My group is made up of six pastors and our wives. We are a mixed group from several denominations, but there are groups in my city that are all from one denomination, for example, all Baptists. In our group we don’t worry about titles and degrees, and we don’t worry about doctrinal differences. We focus on our lives, our marriages and families, our victories and our defeats, our needs and our challenges. I have received more practical counsel and ministerial training since joining this group than I did in seminary, because several times a year we have training retreats in specific areas of ministry organized by Pedro Torres and his team. David Kornfield visits twice a year and trains us in a new area of ministry, then we pass that training on to other pastors.

Pastoring of Pastors meeting

Q: What are some examples of things you have learned?

A: I have learned that pastors from other denominations can be friends rather than competitors, and that we can work together to reach our city for Christ, something I never heard of happening before. I have learned to give time and care to my wife and my family, rather than just to my ministry. Our home life has changed dramatically. In August, David will teach us about ministering in teams, rather than the pastor being responsible for everything. That will be a big change that I’m looking forward to.

Q: What are some of the frustrations that you face?

A: It takes so long for pastors to learn to trust each other and open up their lives to God’s care and healing and healthy changes in our churches. Some of my fellow pastors in my denomination think I am crazy to be a part of this. I understand. I used to be like them. I am frustrated that there is still so much competition and bickering over unimportant things when we should be investing all we have in loving God and loving each other. I’m frustrated that in Paraguay, Christians have been known more for the rules they impose than for the love and compassion of Jesus.

A Wife’s Perspective
Q: Why are you passionate about PoP?

Now PoP is most definitely about the pastor, but it’s equally about their families. Here is the perspective from a Paraguayan pastor’s wife:

A: PoP has marked my life with a “before” and an “after.” Before PoP I was miserable in my marriage. My husband gave me and our children practically no time or attention. All he seemed to care about was his ministry. I felt alone and abandoned. I could not talk with anyone about this because I had to protect his reputation. I served in the church but I felt no joy in doing so. After PoP everything started to change.

Q: How did PoP make a difference?

A: At PoP meetings my husband learned a more biblical perspective on the priority of his marriage and children. At the same time, I found other pastors’ wives I could talk with, who struggled in similar ways. We pray for and support each other. A couple of months ago my husband and I had a huge conflict that we weren’t able to resolve. We were able to take our problem to the couple that leads our PoP group and receive care, counsel, and prayer ministry. It’s the first time I have ever seen my husband open up like that. I want to spend the rest of my life helping extend PoP to other pastors’ wives. For me it’s been the difference between sadness and joy, a brand-new beginning for our marriage and for our ministry.

Pray with One Challenge

  • Pray for the Pastoring of Pastors movement in Paraguay and the people who champion it. Pray for the Lord’s guidance in the Paraguayan church. Pray that He will give leaders a vision on how to reach their nation for Christ.
  • Pray for PoP movements in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela.
  • And, Lord-willing, PoP is being set up in Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Cameroon after October. Pray for OC worker David as he trains pastors from those countries in how to do POP and how to start a POP movement.

Helping through Giving

For $175 you can help a pastor from West Africa attend the Pastoring of Pastors launching event in October in Ghana. Pastors are responsible for their own transportation, already a huge challenge, especially for those coming from other countries. Your gift will pay for materials, housing, and meals at the event. If you are interested, you can help by giving to the project, Pastoring of Pastors, Africa at www.onechallenge.org/GIVE. (Please send it soon, so that pastors can know they can plan to attend.)

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Leadership Development
One Challenge is an international mission sending agency empowering local church ministry in more than 100 countries around the world. We are committed to the equipping of leaders, inside and outside the church, with kingdom principles allowing them to move entire people groups toward transformation, hope and justice. Those leaders in turn can mentor others, and together we all bring God’s transformation to lives, communities, and nations.

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