The Company of Pastors
(not just for pastors!)
John Calvin was right: encouraging and enhancing the theological vocation of pastoral leadership is an urgent task of the church.
Pastoral leadership is both life-giving and highly demanding. Teaching and ruling elders, deacons, educators, musicians: all pastoral leaders need to feed their faith in order to thrive amid the challenges and demands of leading congregations in reflecting on the faith. Regular and sustained theological reflection, prayer and scripture reading can feed the faith of pastoral leaders.
Read more about Pastoral Leadership and the Company of Pastors model
Feeding faith is not complicated. It is a matter of practices. A daily rhythm. A steady pattern of time turned toward God, seeing the congregation and the world through God's vision.
The practices are not complicated.
- Daily Scripture reading
- Daily Prayer
- Regular reflection on the Confessions
While the practices are uncomplicated, doing them can be a challenge. Far too often, they are left out of daily life, relegated to something done "when I have the time" rather than something essential to pastoral leadership. This is where the Company of Pastors comes in. To do these practices in isolation can be difficult. The Company of Pastors offers you the opportunity to engage in these disciplines, knowing that others are reading and reflecting on the same passages you are, and are in prayer for you as you are in prayer for them.
The Covenant of the Company of Pastors is open to anyone. Those who commit to the Covenant of the Company of Pastors commit to daily prayer, as well as the reading of scripture and The Book of Confessions. Opportunities to engage others engaged in the same disciplines provide opportunities and space to reflect on the readings in concert with colleagues near and far.
The Covenant of The Company
When you join The Company of Pastors, you will become part of a covenant community of colleagues who will practice common spiritual, intellectual, and vocational disciplines:
- Daily reading of Scripture using the daily lectionary readings, including the eight-week cycle of Psalms developed by The Company of Pastors.
- Daily prayer for the congregation you serve, your colleagues, the denomination, and the church.
- Daily reflection of an assigned portion of one of the church's confessions. These readings also include a question for reflection.
- Regular engagement and/or gatherings with your colleagues for prayer, discussion of readings, and reflection on theological and pastoral issues.
If you are interested in forming a local or regional Company of Pastors group, we are happy to help. Contact Karen Russell at (502) 569-5401.
There are national gathering opportunities for members of The Company of Pastors, as well as those who are interested in becoming members. To date, these have been held in conjunction with the General Assembly and Big Tent. Speakers have included William Placher, Cynthia Campbell, Thomas Long, Leanne Van Dyk, Richard Mouw, Eugene Peterson and Laura Mendenhall.
Resources available to help you in your daily disciplines:
- A Day Book containing a two-page-per-week calendar format with the daily scripture readings and selections from one of the church’s confessions
- A travel-sized list of the daily readings
- A travel size copy of the Covenant of The Company which includes suggestions for the order of Daily Prayer
- Access to a protected web community where you can engage others who are committed to the disciplines of The Company of Pastors and access the full text of the daily readings
Daily confessional readings are taken from The Book of Confessions, which is part of the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), as well as from daily lectionary readings. The Book of Confessions is available in a printer-friendly version.
Download the Book of Confessions
Members of The Company can access the daily readings through our membership community. Join now
The Company of Pastors is an encouragement, at the least, in the ancient shared lecto divina readings. Siblings in the faith are attending to this continuity of common lectionary in my own PCUSA community, but also within the larger Christian community. The Mission Yearbook is our own version of the AAA travel books, updating mission partner ventures. Recommended books and monographs and the Journal foster ongoing conversation and prayer with colleagues. There is also a corresponding Company of Elders.
Hi, Barb: I can't find any information that indicates that "These Days" has been included in the subscription to COP. It has included the Mission Yearbook, The Register, Hungry Hearts, and Theology and Worship Occasional papers. If I'm missing something, though,please let me know.... Karen
I have been a member of Company of Pastors for about seven years. I just received a bill for a year's subscription to "These Days." Wasn't this subscription included in our annual fee in previous years? Just curious . . . Barb