In October 2023, Steve Ely, the Director of Clergy Development, and his team launched phpastor.org. This site is full of resources designed and assembled specifically for pastors. You will be greeted with the phrase, “Don’t do ministry alone” as soon as you visit this new site. No one truly knows the joys and the burdens a pastor carries, sometimes making him or her feel alone in a sea of congregants. Clergy Development is committed to changing that narrative; to coming alongside a pastor and loving him or her well. Prior to joining the GSO (General Superintendent’s Office), Steve and his wife, Julie, served as church planters and lead pastors for sixteen years. Who better to know what a pastor needs than a pastor?
Under the Care Menu of the site you will find information about:
– The Lilly Endowment
– Retreat Centers
– Sabbatical Resources
Clergy Development has been working tirelessly to gather names of counselors and companies that are available to help a pastor in the midst of a personal crisis or just for mental health maintenance. There are regional and nationwide resources available. Steve encourages every pastor to plan a sabbatical. The resources on the site will drive home the importance of this planned time away. The local church will find helpful tips about how to be handle the pastor being out of pocket for several weeks. The site also addresses how the church and minister should report a sabbatical on taxes.
The Credentials Menu contains information about the brand-new Ministerial Credentials Program (MCP)! The list and overview of each of the 31 classes, which are part of this new venture, can be found here. Each Conference requires their ministers to obtain Continuing Education Units. Under this menu, Clergy Development provides a newly updated approved book list the ministers can use for required credits. Clergy Development has also introduced a brand-new tool to assist the Conference Executive Council as they interview ministerial candidates.
The Development Menu is a clearing house for books, financial tools and other ministry resources. It includes a new video series called “Ministry Matters.” In these short videos, Steve interviews guests on a variety of ministry topics. There are also resources specifically for anyone who is just getting started in ministry. The newly launched podcast called “The Pastor Pause Podcast with Steve Ely” is also available here.
Finally, on phpastor.org you will find information about the latest training events as well as contact information for Clergy Development.
If you are a pastor, or if you know of a pastor who could benefit from the resources mentioned here, please visit phpastor.org!