Pastor Care | Well-Being Of Pastors Initiative

A new 2-year pastor care mentoring+ program designed by Vineyard USA.

This new mentoring program & simultaneous study, funded by a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment & designed by Vineyard USA, aims to increase the well-being and fruitful longevity of our pastors.

The research on pastoral well-being and longevity is conclusive: Pastors who live well and finish well have many different kinds of mentors. The Well-Being of Pastors Initiative will initially serve 90 Vineyard pastors over the next 5 years and help us better understand pastoral wellness for generations to come.

About The Grant

Read the press release about the Lilly Endowment grant.

How It Works

Cohort A is currently underway. Cohort B (2020-2022) and Cohort C (2021-2023) will be accepting applications soon.

Participants commit to join a 2-year cohort (or study group) of 30 other pastors from specific affinity groups:

  • Bi-vocational pastors: Senior pastors or co-pastors with a dual long-term calling to work within the church and in the marketplace simultaneously.
  • Church planters: Pastors who have a calling and commitment to plant in a particular location, have gathered at least 50 people, and the church plant is in a healthy place.
  • La Viña pastors: Spanish-speaking, senior-level leaders, pastors or co-pastors of La Viñas (a translator will be available at events as needed).
  • Sages: Pastors approaching retirement age who are 3-7 years away from transitioning their church.
  • Pastors of color: Other-than-Caucasian senior pastors or co-senior-pastors.
  • Next Pastors: Pastors taking over an existing church after a long-term pastor of 10 or more years in leadership. (Up to two years into the new location at the time of application).
  • Women pastors: Female senior pastors, co-senior-pastors or senior-level leaders who are 40 years old or younger (single or married) will be given priority.

Each affinity group will ideally consist of 5 to 7 pastor participants and 1 assigned, highly qualified Vineyard mentor from the same affinity group.

Each cohort will journey together for two years in a transformational experience for their well-being including mentoring, coaching, spiritual direction, events, and more. Simultaneously, we will conduct a study to discover how mentoring and care increases a senior leader’s overall well-being and fruitful longevity.

Cohort B will begin in January of 2020, Cohort C in January of 2021.

The Benefits

Over the course of the 2-year program, Well-being of Pastors participants will receive:

  • 20 hours of one-on-one mentoring by the affinity group mentor
  • 20 hours of in-group (six-on-one) mentor-facilitated peer sharing with affinity group
  • 17 hours of coaching by a well-trained coach from the Vineyard
  • 17 hours of spiritual direction by a well-formed spiritual director from the Vineyard
  • Training, transportation, accommodation, and food at Cohort Inaugural Retreat
  • Training day and food before or after the Multiply Vineyard Summit in 2022 for Cohort B or in 2023 for Cohort C

Costs

Your participation in this program is financially covered by the grant. However, all of the above benefits will cost your time, participation, energy, and maybe a little bit of homework time for group-session preparation. It will require teachability, a desire for mentoring, openness to honest relationships with those in your affinity group, and a passion for the Spirit’s deep, formative work in your life for God’s glory, your well-being, and the good of those you influence.

Criteria for Cohort A (April 2019 – April 2021)

The pilot program, Cohort A, will run from April 2019 through April 2021 and is the first of three planned 2-year cohorts.

Affinity groups offered in Cohort A:

  • Bi-vocational pastors: Senior pastors or co-pastors with a dual long-term calling to work within the church and in the marketplace simultaneously.
  • La Viña pastors: Spanish-speaking, senior-level leaders, pastors or co-pastors of La Viñas (a translator will be available at events as needed).
  • Planting pastors: Pastors who have a calling and commitment to plant in a particular location, have gathered at least 50 people, and the church plant is in a healthy place.
  • Sages: Pastors approaching retirement age who are 3-7 years away from transitioning their church.
  • Women: Female senior pastors, co-senior-pastors or senior-level leaders who are 40 years old or younger (single or married).

Baseline participant criteria for all affinity groups:

  • Must be an active US Vineyard pastor (or senior-level leader where noted above) with your church/plant in the United States
  • Must have the spiritual, emotional, and physical health to participate with your affinity group
  • Availability and capacity (time in your life & relationships and the energy for the intensity of this program)
  • Vulnerability and honesty with your affinity group, Mentor, Spiritual Director, and Coach
  • Desire to participate fully, giving and receiving
  • A learner who will engage in the process
  • Willingness to give back and invest in the well-being of others
  • One who has the potential for and the interest in trans-local leadership
  • Permission from your church and your family
  • Commitment to finish the full 2-year program. (In a program of this small size, if a person drops out, it skews the results and changes the dynamics of the affinity group. We cannot give a vacated spot to another pastor after the program has begun.)

You can download applications and find instructions on the top-right of this page.

You may apply for as many affinity groups for which you meet all the inclusion criteria (e.g. women & bi-vocational).

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Travel Requirements

Participants must be able attend the Cohort A Inaugural Retreat at Oak Ridge Conference Center in Chaska, Minnesota on April 25-28, 2019 (a long weekend immediately after Easter) and able to attend an extra day at the Multiply Vineyard event in 2021 (location TBD).

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Note: Affinity groups for the 2020 Cohort are likely to be slightly different: bi-vocational pastors, La Viña pastors, pastors of color, planting pastors, succession/transition pastors.

How to Apply

Applications for Cohort A are now closed.

Participants will be notified by email of their acceptance the week of March 1, 2019.

Questions? Email KimF@VineyardUSA.org.

How to Apply

Application deadline: Sunday, August 11th 2019

Participants will be notified by email of their acceptance the week of August 26-30, 2019.

Questions? Email KimF@VineyardUSA.org.

Application deadline: February 17th, 2019

Participants will be notified by email of their acceptance the week of March 1, 2019.

Application Instructions

Please save your application document file as your first & last name + “cohort A app” (e.g. John Doe Cohort A app.PDF).

Applications must be emailed with attached/embedded photo (1 email with 1 attachment, please!) to KimF@VineyardUSA.org and CC kris@flourishingleaders.org.

An acknowledgement of receipt will be returned.

Questions? Email KimF@VineyardUSA.org.

For Cohort B (2020) Planning Purposes

Cohort B’s application will have an early October 2019 deadline and Nov/Dec announcement date for new affinity group participants to prepare for a February 2020 Inaugural Retreat and will likely include these affinity groups: Bi-vocational Pastors, La Viña Pastors, Pastors of Color, Planting Pastors, Succeeding/Transitioning Pastors.

About Cohort B

Cohort B will run from January 2020 through January 2022 and is the second of three planned 2-year cohorts.

Orientation & Inaugural Retreat

Cohort B, the 2020 group, will start with a retreat on January 30 – February 2 at the TBarM Retreat Center in New Braunfels just outside of San Antonio, Texas. The 30 participants (5 affinity groups x 6 people each) will have a long weekend of formation, sharing, and training to begin their two-year journey together. Participants will have the opportunity to get to know the cohort members, (especially those within their affinity group), their mentor, as well as some spiritual directors and coaches.

Year One

For the next 11 months, each affinity group in Cohort B will meet online (Zoom video meetings) as a group with their mentor to discuss various topics that are both universal to all senior pastors (eg. conflict) and affinity group-specific (eg. ministry focus for bi-vocational pastors).

Additionally, the participants will have individual online appointments each month with a Spiritual Director, a Coach, and their Mentor. (If you’re figuring the time commitment, that’s 4 one-hour meetings per month during the first year; three meetings are private, one-on-one meetings, and one meeting is with your affinity group of six).

Year Two

In year two, Cohort B will gradually decrease the regularity of their online mentoring. During months 12-18 the affinity group and individual meetings with Mentors, Spiritual Directors, and Coaches will decrease to every other month. In the final months 18-24, these meetings will decrease to once per quarter.

Program Completion

In January 2022, as the affinity group’s formal journey together is drawing to a close, there will be a day for the entire cohort to gather face-to-face again, share a meal, and participate in a final day of formation and reflection. This special day will be in connection to the annual Multiply Vineyard Summit (location and date TBD).

Prior to the inaugural retreat (January 30-Feb 2, 2020) and after program completion (January 2022), an effectiveness measurement tool (in the form of an online questionnaire called the General Well-being Assessment) will be administered to each participant.

Answers to the initial questionnaire will help guide the program and help us learn about the well-being and longevity of pastors. Answers to the final questionnaire will help us measure growth and discover what practices increase well-being and improve fruitful longevity for Vineyard pastors.

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Diminishing Time Commitment at a Glance

  • Long weekend January 30-February 2, 2020 Initiative Orientation and Inaugural Retreat in San Antonio.
  • Months 2-12 (Feb 2020 through Dec 2020) = 1 hr/month with 1. Affinity group, 2. Mentor 3. Coach 4. Spiritual Director [4×11= 44 total hours] plus any session prep time called for.
  • Months 13-18 (Jan 2021 through June 2021) = 1 hr/every other month with 1. Affinity group, 2. Mentor 3. Coach 4. Spiritual Director [4×4= 16 total hours over 6 months]
  • Months 19-24 (Aug 2021 through Jan 2022) = 1 hr quarterly with 1. Affinity group, 2. Mentor 3. Coach 4. Spiritual Director [4×2= 6 total hours over 3 months]
  • Pre or post-Multiply Vineyard Summit, a day of face-to-face interactions in January 2022 in (Date & location TBD)

Note: There is some flexibility in the timing of the meetings after month 12, but the grant provides for these total numbers of meetings. The participant will determine with his or her Mentor, Coach and Spiritual Director where the Holy Spirt is directing their growth track at that time.

Affinity groups offered in Cohort B:

People who meet the following criteria are invited to apply for Cohort B.

  • La Viña pastors: Spanish-speaking, senior pastors, co-pastors, or senior-level leaders of La Viñas (a translator can be available at events as needed).
  • Pastors of Color: Other-than-Caucasian senior pastors or co-senior-pastors.
  • Next Pastors: Pastors taking over an existing church after a long-term pastor of 10 or more years in leadership. (Up to two years into the new location at the time of application).
  • Planting Pastors: Pastors who have a calling and commitment to plant in a particular location, have gathered at least 50 people, and the church plant is in a healthy place.
  • Women pastors: Female senior pastors, co-senior-pastors or senior-level leaders who are 40 years old or younger (single or married) will be given priority.

Baseline participant criteria for all affinity groups:

  • Must be an active US Vineyard pastor (or senior-level leader where noted above) with your church/plant in the United States
  • Must be in good standing with VUSA as demonstrated by church giving 3% and with your Region by participating in regional activities. Both the Regional Leader and VUSA office are required to approve applications.
  • Must have the spiritual, emotional, and physical health to participate with your affinity group
  • Availability and capacity (time in your life & relationships and the energy for the intensity of this program)
  • Vulnerability and honesty with your affinity group, Mentor, Spiritual Director, and Coach
  • Desire to participate fully, giving and receiving
  • A learner who will engage in the process
  • Willingness to give back and invest in the well-being of others
  • One who has the potential for and the interest in trans-local leadership
  • Permission from your church and your family
  • Commitment to finish the full 2-year program. (In a program of this small size, if a person drops out, it skews the results and changes the dynamics of the affinity group. We cannot give a vacated spot to another pastor after the program has begun.)

All pastors who meet the inclusion criteria and descriptions above and are interested in being mentored are encouraged to apply. You may apply for more than one affinity group if you cross-qualify. [eg. women & bi-vocational, etc.].

You can access the application here and find instructions beginning July 1, 2019. Plan for 30-45 minutes to complete the on-line application process.

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Note: We are planning for 6 affinity groups (36 pastors) for Cohort C! These are likely to include: Bi-vocational Pastors, Pastors of Color, Next Pastors, Planting Pastors, Sages (transition/retire in 3-7 years), and Women Pastors/senior-level leaders. Application period for Cohort C is set to run for 6 weeks in July-mid August 2021. Watch for updates here (there will be a different application than Cohort B)!

About Cohort A

The pilot program, Cohort A, will run from April 2019 through April 2021 and is the first of three planned 2-year cohorts.

Orientation & Inaugural Retreat

Cohort A, the 2019 group, will start with a retreat on April 25-28 at the Oak Ridge Conference Center in Chaska (Minneapolis), Minnesota. The 30 participants (5 affinity groups x 6 people each) will have a long weekend of formation and training to begin their two-year journey. Participants will have the opportunity to get to know the cohort members, (especially those within their affinity group), their mentor, as well as a spiritual director and a coach.

Year One

For the next 12 months, each affinity group in Cohort A will meet online (Zoom video meetings) as a group with their mentor to discuss various topics that are both universal to all senior pastors (eg. conflict) and affinity group-specific (eg. ministry focus for bi-vocational pastors).

Additionally, the participants will have individual online appointments each month with a spiritual director, a coach, and their mentor. (If you’re figuring the time commitment, that’s 4 one-hour meetings per month during the first year; three meetings are private, one-on-one meetings, and one meeting is with your affinity group of six).

Year Two

In year two, Cohort A will gradually decrease the regularity of their online mentoring. During months 12-18 the affinity group and individual meetings with Mentors, Spiritual Directors, and Coaches will decrease to every other month. In the final months 18-24, these meetings will decrease to once per quarter.

Program Completion

In January 2021, as the affinity group’s journey together is drawing to a close, there will be a day for the entire cohort to gather face-to-face again, share a meal, and participate in a final day of formation and reflection. This special day will be in connection to the annual Multiply Vineyard Summit (Houston, TX, date TBD).

Prior to the inaugural retreat (April 25-28, 2019) and after program completion (~ April 2021), an effectiveness measurement tool (in the form of an online questionnaire) will be administered to each participant.

Answers to the initial questionnaire will help guide the program and help us learn about the well-being and longevity of pastors. Answers to the final questionnaire will help us measure growth and discover what practices increase well-being and improve fruitful longevity for Vineyard pastors.

===

Diminishing Time Commitment at a Glance

  • Long weekend April 25-28 Initiative Orientation and Inaugural Retreat in Minneapolis
  • Months 1-12 (May 2019 to April 2020) = 1 hr/month with 1. Affinity group, 2. Mentor 3. Coach 4. Spiritual Director [4×12= 48 total hours] plus any session prep time called for.
  • Months 13-18 (May 2020 to December 2020) = 1 hr/every other month with 1. Affinity group, 2. Mentor 3. Coach 4. Spiritual Director [4×4= 16 total hours in May, July, Sept, Nov]
  • Months 19-24 (January 2021 to April 2021) = 1 hr quarterly with 1. Affinity group, 2. Mentor 3. Coach 4. Spiritual Director [4×2= 12 total hours in Jan, April]
  • Pre or post-Multiply Vineyard Summit Day of face-to-face interactions in January in Houston (Date TBD)

Affinity groups offered in Cohort A:

  • Bi-vocational pastors: Pastors who are called to work and are working simultaneously beyond the church and within the church as senior pastor.
  • La Viña pastors: Spanish-speaking, senior pastors, co-pastors, or senior-level leaders of La Viñas (a translator can be available at events as needed).
  • Planting pastors:Pastors who have a calling and commitment to plant in a particular location, have gathered at least 50 people, and the church plant is in a healthy place.
  • Sages: Pastors approaching retirement age who are 3-7 years away from transitioning their church.
  • Women: Female senior pastors, co-senior-pastors or senior-level leaders who are 40 years old or younger (single or married).

Baseline participant criteria for all affinity groups:

  • Must be an active US Vineyard pastor (or senior-level leader where noted above) with your church/plant in the United States
  • Must have the spiritual, emotional, and physical health to participate with your affinity group
  • Availability and capacity (time in your life & relationships and the energy for the intensity of this program)
  • Vulnerability and honesty with your affinity group, Mentor, Spiritual Director, and Coach
  • Desire to participate fully, giving and receiving
  • A learner who will engage in the process
  • Willingness to give back and invest in the well-being of others
  • One who has the potential for and the interest in trans-local leadership
  • Permission from your church and your family
  • Commitment to finish the full 2-year program. (In a program of this small size, if a person drops out, it skews the results and changes the dynamics of the affinity group. We cannot give a vacated spot to another pastor after the program has begun.)

All pastors who meet the inclusion criteria and descriptions above and are interested in being mentored are encouraged to apply. You may apply for more than one affinity group if you cross-qualify. [eg. women & bi-vocational, etc.].

You can download applications and find instructions above.

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Note: Affinity groups for the 2020 Cohort are likely to be slightly different: bi-vocational pastors, La Viña pastors, pastors of color, planting pastors, succession/transition pastors.