[clear]During 2012 eight seasoned pastors who agreed to be Mentors met with Keli Rugenstein of the Samaritan Counseling Center for training. They learned basic systems theory as it applies to churches. They also used the theory with specific church issues and situations, and strengthened their leadership skills.
In 2013 the Program has expanded to include new pastors, or “mentees” in the group meetings in order to create a “living laboratory” in which Keli serves as a coach for the Mentors as they train and equip their Mentees.
This training has a direct impact on 18 of our congregations, as all the pastors involved are finding that what they are learning, whether they are seasoned or just starting their ministries, is proving very helpful.
These are the kinds of skills and training that are not emphasized in most seminary curricula, and yet are incredibly important for pastors. Through the “flipping” budget the training, which costs $1200 per person and would take up a full time pastor’s entire continuing education budget and more, is provided at no cost to the pastors or their churches. This is a significant investment, both in the pastors and in the health of the congregations they serve.
The pastors who are participating in this program are:

Drew Paton Jerry McKinney
Elizabeth Shen O’Connor Cass Shaw
Katy Stenta Miriam Lawrence Leupold
Laura Mitchell Kate Kotfila
Jamie McLeod David Bennett
Chad Jones Jerry McKinney
Youngberm Mun John Aldridge
Kathryn Bielke Ken Applegate
Kaitlyn Wood Donna Elia


Paul Randall

The group ordinarily meets on the first Friday of every month at the Malta church from 9 AM to 12 PM. This expanded training began in February and goes for 12 months, through the beginning of 2014. The first hour consists of training in a specific area of systems theory. Anyone in the presbytery may audit this first hour, it is open to all, free of charge.
The goals of the training are to equip the pastors to: -accurately assess the interpersonal dynamics in church discussions -accurately assess the historical dynamics currently impacting the congregation -facilitate church wide discussions in a manner that allows a variety of solutions to emerge -help a congregation cast a vision for their future -tap into the human resources sitting in their pews -resolve conflict and use it to strengthen their congregation
This is not only a significant investment in leadership development on the part of the presbytery, but is also a significant investment of time and energy on the part of those who are participating in the training. Please pray for them and for their congregations! We are confident that this investment and faithful com-mitment will help create healthier and more vibrant congregations, and more skilled, confident, and able pastors.

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