Why Does DLI Exist?
Many leaders doing ministry in our city are facing massive challenges. And it’s not just on the leadership, skill development, and missional effectiveness fronts. They are facing soul challenges! For many leaders the greatest gift and understanding they can receive is the realization that they can be loved and free and full of life without constantly being in production mode. As simple as this may sound, this was one of our major realizations in the first year of the Denver Leadership Initiative.
As leaders are being consumed with the challenges of trying to help their churches and organizations grow and be more effective at accomplishing its mission and spiritual transformation amongst the people they serve, they often miss the fact that they must live with deep contentment, joy, and confidence in their experience of everyday life with God. As pastors and leaders they should be the happiest people in the church and city. They often forget that Jesus invited his followers to enter into the life of the “easy yoke” and find themselves burdened and overwhelmed and on the verge of burnout.
With all the current opportunities and challenges facing us in ministry today, it is no small task to stay emotionally healthy and spiritually vibrant. Rick Warren has often said, “The church’s central issue was not growth but health”. When churches are healthy, growth will be the natural byproduct. This initiative is all about the leader and their emotional and spiritual health. It’s not about organizational structure, missional strategies, or ministry goals, although, we are continuing to create other learning opportunities for these things. Much of what is taught and modeled comes out of the journey of many veteran leaders in our city. Many times a persons own drivenness and insecurity, combined with a church culture obsessed with vision and success, lead to a long-term neglect of a leader’s most valuable asset... their very own soul. This is what the Denver Leadership Initiative has been created to address.
As you look at the statistics that have been complied by The Barna Group, Focus on the Family, Fuller Seminary, and the Institute of Church Leadership the need to support leaders and their spiritual and emotional health is evident.
1,500 pastors leave the ministry permanently each month in America.
80% of pastors and 85% of their spouses feel discouraged in their roles.
70% of pastors do not have a close friend, confidant, or mentor.
Over 50% of pastors are so discouraged they would leave the ministry if they could but have no other way of making a living.
Over 50% of pastors’ wives feel that their husband’s entering ministry was the most destructive thing to ever happen to their families.
30% of pastors said they had either been in an ongoing affair or had a one-time sexual encounter with a parishioner.
71% of pastors stated they were burned out, and they battle depression beyond fatigue on a weekly and even a daily basis.
One out of every ten ministers will actually retire as a minister.
“We're a growing group of like minded ministry leaders from across the city and region. We look forward to meeting you, your team and seeing how we can help each other impact the world for Jesus!
So what are you waiting for?