Pastoral Leadership Revitalization Program
The Pastoral Leadership Revitalization (PLR) program, made possible by a three-year grant, is in full swing. Thirteen pastors and commissioned pastors from the presbyteries of Central Nebraska, Missouri River Valley and Missouri Union have been trained to be coaching mentors. A coaching mentor is a hybrid of a coach and a mentor. Our coaching mentors have the coaching skills to empower people to find their own answers. They have the mentoring skills to draw on their experiences as pastors to be guides to other pastors. The coaching mentors (CMs) continue their training through monthly training sessions with a certified coach from Coach Training for Leaders. Forty-one pastors and commissioned pastors from Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri are receiving coaching through PLR.
In addition to coaching, all the participating pastors attend retreats designed both for education and for rejuvenation. After the couples retread was held, a pandemic unfolded and changed plans that had been made. The family retreat, planned for June 2020 at Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, was postponed for a year, as the resort was closed. The single pastors retreat, originally planned for May, was postponed to August 2020. We intend to hold three fall retreats for PLR participants in their respective cohorts, as we understand that pastors have been working twice as hard with fewer resources during the pandemic. We understand that they need a time to rest and rejuvenate. These retreats will be held assuming proper safety protocols are in place at all retreat sites. Participants will voluntarily attend these retreats. As in previous retreats, all retreats will have daily worship services.
As a member of the board for the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation and the Pastoral Leadership Revitalization Steering Committee, I can affirm without question that the Coach / Mentor training I have received has been among the most effective, useful and hope-inducing continuing education of my vocational life.
The training and the follow-up support have fed the mind and the spirit. I am confident that the Pastoral Revitalization Program will yield great benefits for the coaches and the mentees. I am also confident this program will yield great benefits for the churches being served by the coaches and the mentees. This is a program and ministry that has been needed in the church for a long time, and I rejoice that it is available and that I have been blessed to participate.
Rev. Rick Sleyster
Pastor, First Presbyterian Churches of Essex & Shenandoah, Iowa
The Rev. Becky Balestri is the Program Manager for the PLR Program.
Becky has served as installed pastor for two congregations and as interim for three congregations. After 28 years of ordained ministry, Becky understands the needs and hopes of pastors. She has also worked with a coach for four-plus years, and worked with a spiritual director for more than 10 years. She has experienced in her own life the benefits of these relationships. Becky is excited to be part of this new venture in ministry!