Together in Ministry:
Celebrating and Nurturing Clergy Groups
Thursday, February 18
8:00 p.m. Eastern / 7:00 p.m. Central / 5:00 p.m. Pacific
Join Rev. Lin Story-Bunce, our national Together in Ministry Coordinator, to hear testimonies and best practices for TiM Groups, and to explore your own joining or forming of one. Learn about national support available, including small grants.
An Introduction to Lin Story-Bunce and our Together in Ministry (TiM) Groups
Greetings! My name is Lin Story-Bunce and I will serve these next few years as the direct contact for our Together in Ministry Groups. I am so grateful for the warm welcome I have received from the Leadership Team and The Ministers Council community as a whole over the past few months. I am delighted to be part of this community and I am especially excited to build on the exceptional work of Rev. Dan Hopkins with our Clergy Covenant Groups/TiM (Together in Ministry) Groups.
I currently serve as Associate Pastor of a wonderful congregation of thoughtful folks in Greensboro, North Carolina. I have ministered to and alongside this community for 11 years, and have found over that time that my own health and growth, and the health and growth of our ministry together, has been made possible through my committed involvement small group much like the TiM groups offered through The Ministers Council. These groups provide support, accountability, creativity, encouragement, and insight that enhance my own experiences and understandings, but that also inevitably spill over into our community as well.
A Duke University study found that eighty-five percent of seminary graduates entering the ministry leave within five years and ninety percent of all pastors will not stay to retirement. These statistics demonstrate a crisis in ministry that has for a long time been effecting both our ministers and congregations. In 2002, The Ministers Council began a grant-funded, 10-year program that was designed to address some of the factors leading ministers to leave ministry. One of the most significant findings from this program was that healthy, growing ministers found ways to cultivate consistent collegial relationships of support. These findings led the Ministers Council to continue offering and funding these important group opportunities.
The Together in Ministry (TiM) program offered by the Ministers Council provides a flexible support system that encourages collaboration and spurs creativity, leading to greater success in sustaining ministers. Groups and ministers who participate in our TiM are regularly engaged with a Clergy Covenant Group, have access to bi-annual opportunities to learn from the practices of other TiM groups, and are eligible to receive small grants for group needs or activities. TiM groups are one of the important ways we are able to care for and support the health and well-being of the ministers within our community.
If you have questions about joining a TiM group, forming your own TiM group, or receiving small grants for your already existing TiM group, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d like to learn more about our program offerings, the benefits of TiM groups, or ways The Ministers Council offers support through the TiM program, we invite you to join us for a live webinar on Feb 18.
Finally, if you are currently part of a TiM group that is supported by Ministers Council, we would like to feature a TiM group each month in our newsletters. We invite you to submit pictures from one of your meetings (even if on Zoom) and a short testimonial about your experience as a group.