By Mark Dance
Almost four years ago, Dr. Rainer invited me to serve pastors on behalf of Lifeway. I spent most of my first year exploring ways pastors were already being served so I would not compete with other ministries.
Eventually, my vision to help pastors win at church and home became clear, and these initiatives became the core of my ministry.
Pastor Date Nights
Lifeway Pastors hosts a dozen date nights a year for ministry couples in North America. We partner with conventions, seminaries, and associations to bless 50-100 couples with a nice meal, encouraging panel, and $300 worth of Lifeway goodies per couple. Oh yeah, childcare is always provided!
As a result of recent date nights in Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama’s state convention is replicating them regionally this fall in two of the more rural parts of the state. Several other states and associations are planning the same thing!
Marriage Retreats and Conferences
Janet has been a pastor’s wife for over thirty years, and a pastor’s kid her whole life, which explains why she invests so much into pastors’ wives. Although we do not host marriage retreats or conferences, we have been asked to speak at several in recent years.
Watch as we explain how Lifeway partners with other ministries:
Last September, Lifeway Research discovered 94 percent of ministry spouses are satisfied with their marriage. This was great news!
This study also exposed some of the challenges they face: 37 percent do not get the attention they need from their spouse because the church needs so much; 9:10 say their spouse being in pastoral ministry has positively affected their family; 44 percent believe the church expects the needs of their family to be secondary to the church.
What a joy it is to be an Aaron and Hur to these wonderful couples!
For years, Lifeway Church Partners have been leading Pastors Essentials, which is a two-day discipleship conference for lead pastors. This year I am leading a handful of these around the country on behalf of our Church Partnership Department. They are limited to 25 pastors and are in partnership with state conventions.
Lifeway Pastors at Facts & Trends
This is the online arm of Lifeway Pastors, which is led by our new managing editor, Matt Henslee. Matt is a pastor in New Mexico and has a passion for equipping and encouraging pastors by providing practical content every day. I love serving pastors with Matt! This part of Lifeway Pastors is under the ministry umbrella of a very talented Facts & Trends staff.
Thank you, pastor, for letting Lifeway help you win at church and home. There are so many other ways Lifeway invests in pastors, but these are the ones in which I am most involved. Please let me know if I can help you personally: firstname.lastname@example.org.
MARK DANCE (@markdance) serves as director of Lifeway Pastors, is the husband of Janet, father to Holly and Brad, and recently ended an interim pastorate at First Baptist Church, Mt Juliet, Tennessee.