Watch Gordon-Conwell Associate Professor Jim Singleton discuss the impact of LFM Spiritual Mentoring.
30 mentoring communities, serving over 500 Christian leaders worldwide, with more on the way!
The need to support ministry leaders, to provide a cool drink, a listening ear, and a trusted companion on the journey is tremendous. Half of all pastors would leave the ministry today if they had another way to make a living. More than half feel seminary didn’t prepare them for the reality of ministry.
The goal of Leighton Ford Ministries is to be a catalyst for mentoring healthy leaders who sustain thriving ministries by creating safe times, safe places, and safe friends to help strengthen leaders over the long haul.
Whole-Life Mentoring vs. Career Coaching
Many kinds of mentoring can be helpful, including career coaching, personal development, and professional development. Leighton Ford Ministries offers these options as a separate service. But “whole-life mentoring” is something different.
The Mentoring Communities of Leighton Ford Ministries facilitate spiritual mentoring focused on the personal, ministry, and spiritual health of the leader. Spiritual mentoring is meant to help people pay attention to what God is doing in their lives and to respond. It is not “directing” others in the sense of imposing an agenda on them and telling them what to do. Rather, it is meant to be friends, who listen deeply, and who may point out what God is doing and help them discern God’s agenda.
As we pay attention to what God is doing, we encourage our Mentoring Leaders and Mentees to explore what it means to be a Healthy Leader who sustains a Thriving Ministry . . . all for the sake of the Gospel.
- Spiritual Vitality (listening, meditation, prayer)
- Family Health (marriage, parenting, elder care, social media use)
- Personal Wellness (health, nutrition, exercise, work-life balance)
- Self-regulation (boundaries, healthy relationships, managing anxiety)
- Cultural Intelligence (navigating political, social, and cultural issues)
- Change Leadership (navigating conflict, setting vision, and strategy)
Organic and Authentic
Our mentoring groups meet for retreats once a year, for four to six days, each with its own lead mentor. We provide guidance and support, but there is no “one size fits all” pattern. Each group reflects the personality and gifts of the mentor leader, and each is fashioned to serve a diverse group of Mentees.
While there is no one pattern, at the core there is always deep prayer and authentic paying attention to each individual. We are committed to three vital aspects in our spiritual mentoring:
- Attention to whole-life development
- Withdrawing for time together, yearly
- Committed to long-term, and ideally, lifelong relationships
Years ago, Leighton Ford heard a memorable talk by Presbyterian pastor Walt Gerber pointing out that Jesus had safe times (alone with His Father), safe places (like the hills), and safe friends (like Mary, Martha, and Lazarus) to which He would retreat from pressure and crowds. These too can be provided, by God’s grace, in a mentoring community that offers circles of trust.
Interested? LFM Mentoring Communities are by invitation only, but we would be honored to prayerfully explore the possibilities with you. Please contact Anne Grizzle , Chair of Mentoring Ministries or Kevin Ford, Chief Catalyst.