Pastors and missionaries are leaving the ministry at an alarming rate. Emotional and relational challenges (discouragement, weariness, criticism, rejection) emerge on many fronts in every ministry, causing pastors and missionaries to feel overwhelmed and desperately helpless.

MST (Ministry Survival Training) is uniquely designed to assist persons in ministry develop the necessary survival tools so that they can persevere through difficult seasons in ministry and thus continue to fulfill their callings in Christ Jesus.

There are a number of wonderful ministries that come alongside burned-out, recovering or fallen pastors with the intent to restore and mend. These are reactionary in the sense that they come after the brokenness occurs. The MST’s approach is unique in that it is proactive and preventative—the mission is to equip persons with tools (early on in their ministry careers) so that the moral fall or the resignation from ministry might be averted.

The Identity School’s Ministry Survival Training is offered as a 4 day intensive that includes the following sessions:

Session #1: Know the Terrain

I. Description of this session

The terrain of ministry is full of life-giving opportunities. It is also full of danger. Become a student of the battlefield upon which your ministry will either rise or fall. One of the key aspects of this survival key is an awareness of healthy boundaries. Whether it is because of an affair, ministry burnout, or foolish communication, thousands of pastors and cross-cultural workers have shipwrecked their careers by being careless in the domain of boundaries.

II. Desired learning outcomes

As a result of this session you will:
1. Become more proficient in understanding the landscape of ministry context.

2. Develop strategies and structures that bring life and health to the system.

3. Create and maintain healthy boundaries.

Session #2: Know Yourself

I. Description of this session

If a pastor or cross cultural worker is to survive the complex and intense world of ministry, then the process of developing a strong sense of identity and a formidable reservoir of inner courage are required. Learning one’s own triggers and blindness are key aspects of this survival tool.

II. Desired learning outcomes

As a result of this course you will:
1. Discover your own blindness and triggers

2. Learn how to respond by the Spirit of God and not react when triggered.

Session #3: Know Your God

I. Description of this session

This course focuses upon the most essential survival key for persons in ministry: our connection with the Lord Jesus Christ. Every pastor and cross-cultural minister has learned that quiet times, Bible study, and practicing the presence of Christ are essential elements of our faith and ministry.  But are we convinced (to the very core of our beings) that we will not survive apart from our daily, even our moment by moment, communion with the Lord? The subtle shift from intimate fellowship in the Spirit to a life of self-sufficiency is insidious and life threatening.

II. Desired learning outcomes

As a result of this course you will:
1. Develop a mindset of survival concerning abiding in Christ.

2. Further establish life structures that promote a life of intimacy with God and not a life of self-sufficiency.

Session #4: Know Your Enemy

I. Description of this session

Casual mindsets about the strategies and traps of the enemy have led many pastors to the brink of destruction.

No competent commanding officer would lead his or her troops into battle without first attaining proper intelligence concerning the assets and vulnerabilities of the opposing army. In like manner, you must become cognizant of the cunning strategies of your adversary in order to survive in ministry.

II. Desired learning outcomes

As a result of this course you will:
1. Become aware of the spiritual strategies of the adversary toward pastors and missionaries.

2. Learn how to shut dangerous doors and windows that give the enemy access to all   you know and love.

Session #5: The Assessment Tool

The centerpiece of the 5-day workshop is the Ministry Survival Assessment Tool (a software program created especially for IDS that renders the 75 question survey of each participant into a representation of his/her emotional/relational/ministry terrain.  This rendering offers insights about each person’s present season of ministry and ideas for positive approaches to future challenges.

The teaching, self-discovery exercises, small group times, worship and prayer are all focused on one main theme: Gaining survival tools so that every person that is called into the ministry will remain in the ministry.