Pastor's Workshop, The

Pastor's Workshop, The

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Mission StatementTo provide the highest quality worship and sermon resources to today's church leaders.

OverviewThe Purpose of The Pastor's Workshop is to provide unparalleled quality worship and sermon resources that exist nowhere else on the web. As a former solo pastor, I bemoaned the lack of quality resources that could assist me as I prepared worship services every single week. Why couldn't I find prayers and other liturgical materials organized topically around my sermon? Why couldn't I find relevant, thoughtful sermon illustrations and quotes organized specifically to aid in sermon preparation? Finally, after several years of frustration with the current state of resources available for pastors, I decided I would create the website I wish was available to me when I was a solo pastor. The opportunity is significant as well.

Problem being solved?The reality is, pastors you know are constantly being pressed for time, constantly being torn in multiple directions. And yet every week, they have to produce excellent worship services and sermons to feed their flocks. Speaking from experience, this can be a burden for pastors of all stripes. It doesn't matter if you are Catholic or Protestant, conservative or liberal, in a big church or small, you constantly carry the burden of producing excellent worship experiences. As one of my colleagues in ministry, Bill Hoffman once said, "Great preaching is just the cost of doing business these days. Everyone expects it." So wouldn't it be wonderful to have a website out there with excellent content that you knew you could find that one sermon illustration you needed to tie your sermon together? Or wouldn't it be nice to know that you could find a prayer, a call to worship, that would fit perfectly with your scripture passage and it was only one click away? I know it would have been for me, and that's why I created this site.

How are you solving it?The Pastor's Workshop addresses these challenges by providing organized, topical searches for a variety of things each pastor needs on a weekly basis: Liturgy, Sermon Illustrations, and Sermon Quotes. Once the pastor has figured out what their theme is for the week, they can quickly open up the site, search their theme, and voila, they can find the kinds of materials for which they are searching. I have also decided to write regular blog posts on a variety of subjects related to life as a pastor. For example, how should a committee run a search process? How do you go about creating a new website for your church? All of this is meant to draw traffic to the site so that people recognize the value of what is found on the site.

Why are you qualified?As I have been building the site, I have come to the conclusion that God has equipped and enabled me to build this site. For one, I learned how to build a website while serving as a solo pastor. Having a smallish budget there, I knew that if we were going to build a beautiful website that it would fall to me to do the work. This was an invaluable experience and also gave me the confidence to believe I could build the Pastor's Workshop.

The second reason I feel equipped to make this site a success is the massive amount of books, resources, etc., that I have consumed since starting seminary in the mid-2000s. I've read a tremendous amount of books, articles, etc., that have given me an understanding of the broad landscape of Christian writing, an understanding of the history of worship. This has enabled me to begin the process of accumulating and synthesizing a large amount of information that will be helpful to pastors of various types.

What is the urgency?A recent study showed that the average age of an American Pastor is 54. That means that there are a lot of pastors that will be reaching retirement age over the next 10 years. In my denomination, the average age of pastors is 60. What this means is a massive amount of turnover in American pulpits with younger pastors eventually taking over the positions of their senior counterparts. Younger persons (myself included), tend to look to the Internet for resources when our own resources have been exhausted. And yet, when we look on the Internet for sermon and worship resources, the majority are outdated and would not appeal to pastors my own age (thus why I got so frustrated with the availability of resources I experienced).

I recently heard that the definition of an Entrepreneur is someone who sees a gap between what is currently available and what could be when it comes to products and services. Based on this definition, I am convinced that there is a massive gap between the desires of pastors and church leaders and what is currently available.

But there is something much more important at stake in this enterprise that goes far beyond the desire for better resources for pastors. And that is the continuing decline of the church in America and Western society in general. A number of recent surveys have demonstrated a decline in belief in God, Church attendance, and belief in the morals associated with Christianity. If this is true, should we not try to provide the absolute best resources for pastors in order to reach more and more people for Christ? This is central to the mission of the Pastor's Workshop.

Project Manager
Stuart Strachan Jr

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