Current Cluster Series
In chapter four of Shrink, Tim Suttle wonders if the way we think about church is based more on models oriented toward growth and conversion than about a more comprehensive understanding of what the Gospel is all about:
“The church’s job is not to grow and thrive. The church’s job is not even to survive. The church’s job is to die for the life of the world — to literally spend itself, pour itself out in service to the world. In the words of Jürgen Moltmann, ‘The real point is not to spread the church but to spread the kingdom.’” 77Tim Suttle
Discussion Guide #1 (Ch 1-3)
Discussion Guide #2 (Ch 4-6)
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Why do we do clusters?Pastors understand pastors. Very few others do. The national stats are sobering: 90% work between 55-75 hours each week. 80% of pastors feel that the ministry has negatively impacted their families. 70% of pastors constantly fight depression. 70% of pastors say they have a lower self-esteem now than when they began their ministry. 70% of pastors say they do not have anyone they consider to be a close friend. 50% of pastors would leave the ministry if they felt they could find other employment. 80% of pastors’ spouses wish their spouse would choose a different profession. 50% of pastors starting out will not last five years in the ministry. 10% of minister will retire as ministers in some form. If you are a pastor, you understand these statistics. You probably are one of the statistics.
Growing Healthy Churches knows that pastoral health and church health go hand in hand. Pastors often feel isolated in ministry. GHC has a solution: clusters. Most months, a group of pastors gather in various geographical locations around Northern California and the Reno/Tahoe area to provide space for pastors to breathe, to learn, to support and be supported. Because pastors don’t last when they go 'Lone Ranger'. Because pastors need support from those who get it: Pastors understand pastors.
Who leads clusters?Each cluster is led by a pastor who gets it and is committed to helping the pastors they serve feel supported and equipped.
What happens in a cluster gathering?While there may be some variation from cluster to cluster, there will be some basic components you can count on happening.
- There will be food. It will cost you nothing. Eating together does more than increase your calorie intake – the dynamic changes when we break bread together. GHC underwrites the meal as a value-add to your day.
- There will be food for thought. Ongoing training is critical for growing leaders. You will be provided with insightful resources that will inspire and stretch your thinking towards greater ministry effectiveness. GHC will provide a balanced diet of leadership insight to promote health physically, emotionally, spiritually, and relationally.
- And we’ll feed your soul. Sometimes we need to share our struggle with people we can trust. When we do, our soul somehow is nourished by the vulnerability and support received. Sometimes we are privileged to support someone else as they go through their inevitable trials. When we do, our souls are touched by the holy opportunity to love and serve.
Will you take your leadership health seriously?GHC is investing resources to provide you with perhaps the most important variable for your ministry health. Will you invest just a couple of hours just eight or so times a year for your own leadership health? Will you invest it to help another pastor’s leadership health?
When will you make it to a cluster?
Dr. Peter Shaw
He has served as the senior pastor at CrossWalk Community Church in Napa, CA since November 1999. He is one of many pastors that has joined GHC in the mission of Growing Healthy Churches.
- Network with other pastors
- Continue your growth as a pastor and leader
- Learn what others are doing to go to the next level