This blog site is provided as a forum for Christian leaders to promote personal and ministry revitalization. The primary catalyst for this is a simplified, clarified, and illustrated approach to discipleship, sanctification, and counseling.

Welcome to “Revitalizing Pastors” from John Woodward on Vimeo.

The Need

Pastoral coach and author, Lance Witt summons us to spiritual health and vitality:

“…we have marginalized the soul side of leadership. The result is a crisis—one of spiritual health among pastors. Today’s troubling statistics on pastors paint a bleak picture.
• 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 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 have neglected the fact that a pastor’s greatest leadership tool is a healthy soul. Our concentration on skill and technique and strategy has resulted in deemphasizing the interior life. The outcome is an increasing number of men and women leading our churches who are emotionally empty and spiritually dry.
(Replenish: Leading from a Healthy Soul, Baker Books, 2011)

The Message

In his book of biographical accounts of Christian leaders, former Chancellor of Wheaton College, V. Raymond Edman makes this observation:

The pattern [in their lives] seems to be self-centeredness, self-effort, increasing inner dissatisfaction and outer discouragement, a temptation to give it all up because there is no better way, and then finding the Spirit of God to be their strength, their guide, their confidence and companion–in a word, their life.

The crisis of the deeper life is the key that unlocks the secret of their transformation. It is the beginning of the “exchanged life.”
(They Found the Secret, Zondervan, 1960).

This “secret” is actually an open revelation in Scripture.

• It is integral to the Gospel: “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began” (Rom. 16:25).

• It involves a new awareness of the indwelling Christ: “To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).

Some pastors who have come to appreciate this revelation in their life and ministry have contributed to a book edited by Dr. Charles Solomon: From Pastors to Pastors: Testimonies of Revitalized Ministries. Some of these are at this site under the “Testimonies” tab. A classic example comes from a letter that pioneer missionary, Hudson Taylor wrote. In is he described his spiritual break through as an “exchanged Life” according to Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

The Opportunity

It has been said, “Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.” If you’re going through a tough time in your personal life, family and ministry, we invite you to use some resources on this site as an opportunity to more fully discover the sufficiency of God’s grace for your situation (2 Cor. 12:9).

You are welcome to contact Grace Fellowship International:

Revitalizing Pastors is a ministry of Grace Fellowship International. GFI is a pioneer ministry in the field of Christ Centered Counseling internationally. Testimonies of ministry leaders who have been helped by the deeper life message applied to personal and corporate ministry are in the book, From Pastors to Pastors: Testimonies of Revitalized Ministries. It is available in print and ebook from GFI’s store.

Note: Grace Fellowship does not necessarily endorse every doctrine of every ministry mentioned on this site. Discernment is important everywhere (1 Thess. 5:21).

If we can assist you, or if you have suggestions about assisting ministry leaders, please contact us. Phone: 865-429-0450.

“For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown for His name in ministering to [the needs of] the saints (God’s people), as you do. And we desire for each one of you to show the same diligence [all the way through] so as to realize and enjoy the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be [spiritually] sluggish, but [will instead be] imitators of those who through faith [lean on God with absolute trust and confidence in Him and in His power] and by patient endurance [even when suffering] are [now] inheriting the promises.” Hebrews 6:10-12 (Amplified)