It has been worth the investment. This group of guys will be there for me moving forward. They can care for me in ways that others can’t because they understand the battle. They know the messiness of groups ministry. I also feel as if the heart work and the soul care we have done has been invaluable as I attempt to love Jesus and His church. For me especially, it has been amazing!
Brentwood Baptist / The Church at Avenue South
It has truly been invaluable. Groups ministry is hard, and to now belong to a community of leaders who tenaciously pursue the formation of their people through groups is a deeply profound encouragement. It's one that holds me accountable even in their absence, just knowing they're praying, planning, implementing, coaching, and repenting. I can't think of a time when I've been so stretched in my pursuit of the Lord and His Church.
Lighthouse Christian Fellowship
I have really enjoyed the cohort, and have found it to be both encouraging and challenging. I am so grateful to be around a group of men who are wiser and more experienced than me, yet treat me like a brother. The relationships by far have been my favorite part, and the sessions have been super helpful and insightful. I am learning more about myself and about my own vision for what discipleship could look like in my own ministry context. I don't want this to end! The Lord could not have blessed me with this cohort at a better time in my life and ministry. I have been humbled by witnessing the testimonies of what the Lord is doing in the lives of these men, and it has caused me to reflect deeply about my own walk with the Lord and how much I have to learn and grow. The cohort has left me excited, refreshed, and grateful for the ministry He has called me to in His church.
Crosspoint City Church
I cannot say enough about this cohort. It’s a must for every groups pastor.
The cohort has been more than worth the investment. I came into the cohort with a fast-growing ministry, but without realizing we had blindspots I was unaware of—personally, structurally, and pastorally. This cohort exposed me to things I didn't know that I didn't know.
They challenged me holistically—head, heart, and hands. They challenged my thinking and my emotional health. You would think an intense cohort such as this would drain you, but it was just the opposite for me. The cohort was a breath of fresh air every time I was able to talk with Jared, Justin, or J. J., or attend a cohort gathering. The cohort re-energized me and put a new wind in my sails to minister with a cup overflowing.
Another amazing benefit of the cohort is that unlike a conference, you get to talk out the specific challenges and obstacles you are facing in your context of ministry as opposed to only hearing one take on discipleship context that may not apply to your own context. in any way.
The mentors are very understanding and open to methodological differences as well, which creates a much more productive atmosphere, where you can really nail down what methods will or will not work in your own context of groups ministry.
Honestly, I am not sure if I would still be in ministry if it weren't for the newly-formed relationships I was able to make with other brothers in similar ministry trenches as myself. Having a brother who is a groups pastor, and has gone through the cohort with you, and learned similar things to you from it, is an amazing help line to reach out to in conversation.
The way that the cohort has most changed my life is through the relationships I have built with brothers. The way that the cohort has most worked in my heart is by having an avenue of relationships with humble, grace-filled, and loving brothers who are not worried about competition. Rather, these brothers are more concerned with the building up of one another and have generous hearts towards each other.
If it were not for this cohort and the relationships formed with brothers, there's a good chance I would not still be in ministry right now. Personally, this cohort has worked in my heart to have a deeper level of trust in other brothers in the faith that I have not had before. I have always been guarded against God's sheep for the potential risk of hurt arising out of immaturities in the faith or misunderstanding my heart. These men seeing the highs and lows of my heart and life, and yet still drawing close to me, has pushed me to be in deeper community myself with brothers in the faith that I can confess sins and share my burdens with.
Pilot Point, TX