|A recent fraternal held in Swakopmund .|
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!" (Psalm 133:1)
Over the years I have come to treasure the fellowship of God centered pastor- elders more and more. When such men get together for fellowship, there is a concentration of maturity and godly desires, godly wisdom and godly love.
I started attending pastors fraternals in 1997, when we started the Spurgeon fraternal in South Africa. We have subsequently 'exported' this concept also to Namibia, where churches are generally situated great distances apart, and were pastoral fellowship cannot be taken for granted.
Pastors fraternals must not be confused with the customary "pastors conference" that we go to, in order to hear gifted speakers expound on various important topics from Scripture. These are very helpful indeed. But a pastors fraternal is different.
The Pastor's fraternals I attend, are built around the Scriptures, but they are specifically designed and structured to draw out the hearts of the men that are present. Seating is important.
We sit in a circle, or around a table. Intimacy is important. Scripture reading is followed by a short exhortation, which is followed by deep sharing by the men present, followed by prayer and mutual edification.
A meaningful pastors fraternal should be held over at least 2 days. The informal, unhurried sharing of each others burdens, the sharing of accommodation, the spontaneous prayer, the eating of meals together - all these constitute an atmosphere that is utterly unique and uplifting.
Frequently, young men or men who are interested in the ministry are invited to join us. This gives them a good perspective as they listen to the older pastors.The bottom line is this: Pastors need other pastors.