Careers & Calling » Peer Learning Groups

Peer Learning Groups -- CBF Global and CBFNC

Peer Learning Groups (PLGs) meet monthly or quarterly, in person or virtually, to provide opportunities for worship, spiritual growth, Bible study, discussion of ministry-related issues and fellowship.  Currently there are over 132 PLGs of 6-12 members organized throughout CBF Global.  Of these 132 PLGs, 45 are located in CBF PLG Region 4 (NC, VA & Mid-Atlantic) and 25 are in CBFNC.  Special encouragement for peer learning is given to ministers in their first seven years of ministry, ministers in rural settings, ministers in multi-staff congregations, ministers seeking to become bi-professional and ministers seeking to sustain ministerial excellence throughout their ministry career.

Each PLG is facilitated by a convener and provided with suggested resources for group work related to promoting pastoral excellence and congregational health.  The convener and group members determine the focus of each gathering.  New groups are invited to form and new members are often welcome in previously formed groups.  Groups are located throughout the United States and organized into four main geographic regions.  Layne Smith lsmith@cbf.net is the Region 4 Coordinator for PLGs in North Carolina.   

Limited funds are available from CBF Global to help support the formation and resourcing of PLGs.  For information on making application and deadlines, please visit the CBF Global website www.cbf.net &/or contact Betsy Young byoung@cbf.net .  For additional information regarding forming a new group OR joining a current group, please contact Layne Smith lsmith@cbf.net .  CBFNC offers matching funds to PLGs in North Carolina who are forming new groups and modeling innovative opportunities for peer learning through virtual technology and strategic issues (like racial reconciliation, family systems and wealth & poverty).  For funding or general information for PLGs with CBFNC, please contact Ka’thy Gore Chappell, Leadership Development Coordinator, CBFNC  kchappell@cbfnc.org

Resources:

The raft of recent research in this clergy health and wholeness paints a discouraging picture.  We’re learning that a great many pastors are prone to leave health concerns untreated, experience compassion fatigue, burnout, and a creeping sense of isolation from church, family, self and faith.  I often wonder if there isn’t a leadership corollary to the Biblical maxim of “reaping what we sow.” Ask yourself what such a pastor can sow in ministry.  As importantly, what is reaped congregationally?  ... read full article

Growing up as a pastor’s kid, I watched as my dad struggled through the difficult days of ministry and celebrated the triumphs — and there were many of both. Sitting around the dinner table, my family shared the stories of our time apart from one another. Though there was much my dad could not share with us, I noticed certain days when the tone behind the stories was different. These were days when he seemed to be experiencing more calm and living into a deeper sense of hope. ... read full article

As a minister, how do you form together? Fellowship? Resources? Best practices? Within the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, more than 600 people form together through their experiences in Peer Learning Groups. These CBF-sponsored small groups gather regularly as a community to worship, pray, dialogue, discuss books, host speakers, share ideas, fellowship and find renewal. ... read full article

The journey of theological education is full of moments that challenge and grow us as ministers.  Some of the most beautiful parts of the journey are not necessarily earning good grades, but rather the moments spent with our peers – our friends who become like family.  In our ministerial roles, we have moments where we become overwhelmed or feel like nobody understands.  In those times, we look to our left and right and realize there are amazing ministry friends who walk the journey with us.  ... read full article

 

 

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