How did b begin? What is the b story?
We have joined together, forming the initial core of b . We’ve walked separate paths, and now our journeys merge in this new adventure of faith. Our unique gifts, concerns, perspectives, backgrounds and ministry experiences, as well as a common passion to journey with those who lead and serve churches, come together as we partner with each other. Here are two expressions of our b adventure stories:
The following statistics are from across denominational lines and have been gleaned from various sources, such as Pastor to Pastor, Focus on the Family, Ministries Today, Charisma Magazine, TNT Ministries, and a few other respected ministries.
“For me, the seeds of b were planted in a couple ways. First, I was experiencing my own inner angst for deeper intimacy with God. Second, realizing I wasn’t alone, I was drawn to walk with others through their spiritual deserts. As a spiritual director I’d had countless conversations with pastors and church leaders. Regardless of denomination or ministry setting, the following themes continually came up in spiritual direction sessions: isolation and loneliness, depression, being overwhelmed, losing a sense of calling, and struggling to experience connection with God. As a result of my interaction with these men and women, a dream began to be formed. My heart was being drawn to support, encourage, equip and enrich the lives and ministries of pastors and church leaders. And as I studied the plight of the leaders of our churches, I became fully convinced of the desperate need for b .”
- 50% of pastors’ marriages will end in divorce.
- 50% of pastors dropped out of full time ministry within 5 years.
- 70% pastors constantly fight depression.
- 70% pastors do not have a close friend, confidant, or mentor.
“Joining the team to launch b was an answer to some of the deepest longings of my heart. For years I hungered to experience God in deeply intimate ways, ways I believed were possible, yet had never experienced. Others came to me with this same longing and the same feeling of ‘stuckness’. I yearned to help myself and them but had no idea how that might look. Then God led me into spiritual direction. This became the path God used to open my heart and allow me to experience His extravagant love at incredible depths. This began to soothe and fill my deep longings and led me into greater emotional freedom. God used my experience as a directee, as well as my training to be a spiritual director, to bring forth a deep knowing that spiritual direction was part of what He made me for. So, when Larry invited me to be a part of b and oversee spiritual direction, it was a natural fit. How could I not be passionate about the opportunity to journey with others as they come to more deeply know and live in God’s incredible love for them?!”
Becoming part of the b team in 2008, seemed like a natural step in my spiritual journey. By the time I had joined b, I had been pastoring for over 20 years, and ten of those years had included giving oversight to pastors within my denomination. This developed in me a deep concern for pastors and ministry leaders. In 1999, I found myself personally pondering the questions of why the gospel did not seem to impact the deep recesses of people's lives, mine included. This led me to pursue an understanding and practice of spiritual formation, first for my own life and then for those I was pastoring. As the years rolled by I was trained as a spiritual director. As I sat with pastors, leaders, and others in spiritual direction I heard the same story that I had recognized years before. Pastors are so busy doing God's work that they often have little time for their own spiritual nuture and development. These leaders often feel isolated in their role and have few that they can talk to about what is really going on in their hearts and lives. They often feel stuck in their relationship with God and do not have a safe setting of person to share with. My heart breaks as I hear their stories, but I know that God has a way out of their dilemma. When I was asked to be a part of b it seemed to be a convergence of my own journey, my training, and my concern for pastors. I believe that being a part of a ministry like b is something God has groomed be for.
As we look to the future, we desire to set up strategic alliances with churches, denominations and seminaries. We sense God calling us to journey with ministry leaders and seminarians in order to help them meet their spiritual, personal and professional needs. In order to help bring health and wholeness to their lives and ministries, we provide retreats, spiritual direction and spiritual formation. To see what ministries b is currently providing, please visit portfolio.
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b is committed to becoming. It is an organization in process…endeavoring to be present for pastors, seminarians and ministry leaders who desire greater intimacy with God and seek to become who God has uniquely called and created them to be. So, we journey onward not knowing exactly where God will take us or what the ministry will become, but being convinced that God will continue to lead and guide us. Truly, we are on an adventure of faith.