A John 17:23 pastoral support group in Brattleboro, VT recently came together to share the Gospel with their community. Group member Gary DeHaas tells about the experience: “We found that fellowship was really important and support for one another was foundational, but it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t the end game of why we were there and why we were gathering. We were establishing this foundational core as we met together that allowed us to focus upon what we were in the ministry for. That is, to make disciples of all people. As we met we learned to trust one another, to love one another, and we desired to do ministry together as an outreach of our relationship together. We found we needed to make room for differences of opinion or style of ministry. We had to have conversations that allowed for differences to not only exist but to be overcome.”

“One of the pastors in our group shared an interest in doing a summer outreach outside on a public common with worship and sharing the gospel. As that was expressed, it resonated with others in the group. We asked if we could be a part of that as well and now all of our churches are coming together Sunday nights in the month of June to the public commons. We will be having a time of worship together, someone will share their faith testimony of how they came to Christ, and then someone in the group will share a brief Gospel presentation.

“We really believe that we can make a greater impact together than we can individually,” concluded Gary. 

We can make a greater impact together than we can individually

– Gary DeHaAS

Establishing relationships in your John 17:23 group is the groundwork to do kingdom ministry together, Gary shares, “The strength of the relationship between the pastors is foundational if you are going to do outreach together as church communities. There has to be a great trust in one another. There has to be a love from each of the pastors one to another that is acknowledged and recognized, allowing you to be comfortable enough to do ministry together. It is also an example to our people of how they should relate to fellow believers from other churches with theological differences. The people in our churches need to know how much we love and care for one another as pastors.

“We need to strive to go beyond fellowship and care for one another to reaching our community for Christ. We can’t let the group dissolve into this holy huddle where our needs are being met and we have a good time together and can pray together, but instead we can actually move to pursuing ministry together in the kingdom of God. The reason for deepening fellowship is for greater effectiveness in reaching people with the Gospel.” After all, that is the end game.

Barnabas Ministries works to connect pastors and pastoral leaders in John 17:23 pastoral support groups so they are encouraged, inspired and enabled to pursue kingdom ministry together resulting in the world believing that Jesus is Lord and that God loves them.