Para Church Ministries have a unique role in the kingdom. They support, come along side of and do ministries that often no else can or wants to do. Therefore, the leadership often have a difficult mission. These leaders need safe times, safe places, and safe friends to help them grow spiritually, listen attentively to the Spirit, and be fruitful over the long-haul.
For more than thirty years, Leighton Ford Ministries has launched, nurtured, and supported dozens of mentoring communities supporting hundreds of ministry leaders in the United States and globally. We have supported, trained, and encouraged para church leaders from all over the world. We have supported them to create mentoring groups in their countries and communities.
Ministry staff are usually busy. But God calls us to listen to his still, small voice. How?
For over thirty years, Leighton Ford Ministries has used mentoring communities to help pastors and ministry leaders pay attention to what God is doing in their lives and to respond. This is not “directing” or “master and pupil,” but friends who listen deeply and help discern God’s agenda.
Historically, most LFM mentoring communities have been comprised of people from various different ministries joining together. Through the Parachurch Mentoring initiative, LFM supports and equips the launch of mentoring communities within parachurch organizations – internal groups made up of people from the same organization, or possibly across parachurch organizations serving similar regions or ministry functions.
LFM mentoring communities are not “one-size-fits-all.” We start by gathering and engaging top parachurch leaders to experience safe times, safe places, and safe friends in a multi-day retreat. As they catch the vision for how mentoring communities can support and encourage their teams, we come alongside with additional resources and coaching for launching new mentoring communities within their organization, customized to the specific needs, personalities, and requirements of each organization, mission field, or other context. Leighton Ford Ministries’ mentoring communities have an exponential impact, with second, third, and even fourth generation communities forming organically. This provides a model for sustainable growth of mentoring communities within larger organizations.