Garry Williams Director The John Owen Centre London Seminary writes
I am delighted to be able to tell you that the John Owen Centre has appointed John Benton, of Chertsey Street Baptist Church in Guildford and Managing Editor of Evangelicals Now, to a new role providing pastoral support for pastors.
John’s ministry will broaden the ways in which London Seminary seeks to provide life-long help for pastors through the John Owen Centre, complementing our existing theological work.
As I meet with pastors on our Study Projects to help them with their theological work, I am struck by how often our conversation turns to the ups and downs of ministry. Many are thriving, but my sense is that more are struggling, and a significant minority are in serious difficulty and on the brink of leaving the ministry - a fact confirmed by the sad attrition rate for pastors. I frequently find myself thinking ‘Wouldn’t it be good if we had an experienced pastor available to sit down to spend time talking this through properly, offering biblical counsel and sharing the wisdom that he has gained during a long ministry'. This is the role that John will fill. As we have met with John it has been exciting to hear him speak about his vision for the role, his deep understanding of the challenges that pastors face, and the ways in which he has already been used by the Lord to help and encourage younger men in ministry.
John will begin the work in January 2017. He will be available to meet with pastors 1:1 to provide them with counsel, support and encouragement. His work will not involve mediation, and it is intended to complement and encourage rather than to bypass existing pastoral support structures. If you are a pastor and would like to arrange to meet with John when he starts, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org). I will write later with further information on John’s availability to teach groups of pastors on topics relating to the challenges of ministry.