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 96 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

Cohorts A and B are currently underway, and Cohort C will kick off in September 2021. (Please note that is a new time, for any of you who have been following our progress!) Cohort C (2021-2023) will be accepting applications June 1-July 23, 2021. Check back June 1, 2021 for the link to the application.

Participants commit to join a 2-year cohort of 30-36 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).
  • Sage Pastors: 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. (You can be leading up to two years in the new location at the time of application).
  • Women Pastors: Female senior pastors, co-senior-pastors or senior-level leaders. Women 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. The journey includes mentoring, coaching, spiritual direction, retreats, 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.

The Benefits

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

  • 17 hours of one-on-one mentoringby the affinity group mentor
  • 17 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 the Vineyard National Conference in 2023

Costs

Your participation in this program is financially covered by the grant. However, all of the above benefits will cost your time, energy, and the work of growth as you go. You will be filling out assessments and surveys along the way about your experience, to contribute to the study and our learning of best practices.

The program 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 B have closed and participants notified of their acceptance by email the week of August 26-30, 2019.

Check back June 1, 2021-July 23, 2021 for access to the application for Cohort C. All Affinity Groups are open for application in Cohort C.

Questions? Email KimF@VineyardUSA.org.

How to Apply

Check back June 1, 2021-July 23, 2021 for access to the application for Cohort C. All affinity groups will be open for application in Cohort C. You are welcome to apply to more than one affinity group (simply tick more than one box in this section on the application) if you meet the criteria we are looking for.

Cohort C will have a very quick turn-around, so applicants must be available by email the week of August 2, 2021 for notification, to begin booking travel to our Inaugural Retreat, reviewing video introductions and booking appointments with our vetted coaches and spiritual directors for the retreat.

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 C

Cohort C will run from September 2021 through August 2023 and is the final of our three 2-year cohorts.

Orientation & Inaugural Retreat

Cohort C will start with a retreat on September 9-12, 2021 at a fully contained retreat center (location TBA). The participants (5 or 6 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 other cohort members, (especially those within their affinity group), their mentor, as well as some spiritual directors and coaches, in person and online.

Program Mentoring

After the Inaugural Retreat, over the next 23 months, each affinity group in Cohort C will meet 17 times online (Zoom video meetings) as a group for 60-90 minutes facilitated by their mentor to discuss topics that are both universal to all senior pastors (eg. conflict) and affinity group-specific (eg. time management and ministry focus for bi-vocational pastors). Each participant will also meet individually with the mentor for personalized mentoring in those months. You may have noticed that there are 23 months and only 17 meetings. That is because there are breaks scheduled. The ebb and flow of the participant’s and mentor’s ministry responsibilities will inform the rhythm of each affinity group within Cohort C. The specific break months will be decided on by each individual affinity group during the Inaugural Retreat (so bring your calendar). This is a change in scheduling if you’ve been following the program as we are learning to help pastors toward longevity.

Program Spiritual Direction & Coaching

Besides the mentoring sessions with your affinity group mentor, participants will have 17 individual online appointments available to him or her with a Spiritual Director and a Coach. Participants will likely want to follow the same pattern as their mentoring months chosen for breaks, but it is not necessary, it just needs to be arranged ahead with each individual helper. (If you’re figuring the time commitment, that’s 4 one-hour meetings per month in each month you meet; three meetings are private, one-on-one meetings with your helper, and one meeting is with your affinity group

Program Completion

In summer 2023, 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 or two, and participate in a final day of formation and reflection. This special day will be in connection to the annual Vineyard National Conference (location and July date TBD).

Prior to the Inaugural Retreat (Sept 9-12, 2021) and after program completion (August 2023), two effectiveness measurement tools (in the form of online questionnaires 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.

Time Commitment At A Glance

  • Long weekend September 9-12, 2021 Initiative Orientation and Inaugural Retreat in TBA and the prep-work needed before the retreat to be completed via emails and on-line surveys.
  • Mentoring in months 2-23 (Oct 2021 through Aug 2023) = in 17 of 23 months, 2 hrs/month with 1. Affinity group, and 2. Mentor [2×17= 34 total hours] plus any session prep time called for.
  • Individual spiritual direction and coaching in months 2-23 (Oct 2021 through Aug 2023) = 1 hr each with 1. Coach and 2. Spiritual Director [2×17= 34 total hours].
  • Pre-National Conference, a day of face-to-face interactions in July 2023 in (Date & location TBD)

Note: There is flexibility in the timing of the 17 meetings over the 23 months, and the grant provides for these total numbers of meetings per helper. The participant will determine with his or her Mentor, Coach, and Spiritual Director where the Holy Spirit is directing their growth track at that time. All participants are expected to log onto their affinity group meeting in a timely manner as this is a group-dynamic driven meeting where participant pastors are learning and growing from each other and it cannot be “made up” later. In an extreme emergency and with the permission of the Mentor, Spiritual Director, or Coach, individual meetings may be re-scheduled.

Affinity Groups Offered In Cohort C

All Affinity Groups are open for application in Cohort C. These are the criteria we are looking for in each affinity group.

  • Bi-vocational Pastors: Senior pastors or co-pastors with a dual long-term calling to work within the church and in the marketplace simultaneously.
  • Pastors of Color: Other-than-Caucasian senior pastors or co-senior-pastors.
  • La Viña Pastors: Spanish-speaking, senior-level leaders, pastors or co-pastors of La Viñas (a translator will be available at events as needed).
  • 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.
  • Sage Pastors: Pastors approaching retirement age who are 3-4 years away from transitioning their church.
  • 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 June 1, 2021. Plan for 30-45 minutes to complete the on-line application process.

For your convenience, here is a preview of the three short-answer questions to help you prepare.

The short answer is the place in the application where the mentors can get to know you and determine how you might fit into the affinity group he or she will be leading, so please offer more than a one sentence reply.

  1. After discussing the time commitment of this intensive pilot program with your spouse, what are some of the words used to describe his/her feelings about your participation?
  2. Discuss how you will make time in your life for the extra hours this Well-being of Pastors Initiative requires of its cohort participants.
  3. Why do you want to participate?

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 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 directors and coaches in person and online.

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 C:

People who meet the following criteria are invited to apply for Cohort C during the open-application period of July 1-August 23, 2020. The structure and time commitment of the program will look very similar to what you see here for Cohort B.

  • Bi-vocational Pastors: Senior pastors or co-pastors with a dual long-term calling to work within the church and in the marketplace simultaneously.
  • 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.
  • Sage Pastors: Pastors approaching retirement age who are 3-7 years away from transitioning their church.
  • 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, 2020. Plan for 30-45 minutes to complete the on-line application process. Here is a preview of the three short-answer questions to help you prepare. This is the place in the application where the mentors can get to
know you.

After discussing the time commitment of this intensive pilot program with your spouse, what are some of the words used to describe his/her feelings about your participation?

Discuss how you will make time in your life for the extra hours this Well-being of Pastors Initiative requires of its cohort participants.

Why do you want to participate?

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.

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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.