Pastor-to-Pastor is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that began in 2011. After more than 30 years of campus and church ministry, Don Follis felt compelled reach formally to pastors and churches, offering to pastors, church leaders and congregations counseling, mentoring, coaching and spiritual direction. Don engages in both long-term and short-term relationships with both pastors and leaders.
What is it?
In the last 9 years, Don has served 200 pastors and lots of congregations. Don says so often he sees God blessing his gift of encouragement as he comes alongside pastors.
Don is clear about the bottom line of how he approaches his work through Pastor-to-Pastor:
“I listen well. I ask great questions. I want pastors to succeed, but I don’t feel like it’s my job to do a pastor’s thinking for him. Still, I always try to give pastors hope to stay the course.”
Additionally, Pastor-to-Pastor has offered classes on spiritual formation, marriage retreats for pastors and spouses, seminars on emotional health for church staff, classes on grief, a seminar on how to better understand and incorporate the Enneagram in the life of the pastor and church and retreats on silence and solitude.
Don believes “what” questions are the best questions. He starts out almost every appointment with the same question: “What’s going on?” Here are some of his other favorite questions: “What are your options?” “What do you want to happen when this is all over?” “What’s next?” “What does your wife think you should do?” “What do you think God is saying?” And then, of course, there’s the big question that always puts the tire right down on the road: “What are you going to do now?”
Who is it for?
Pastors are the main group that take advantage of Don’s skills, including both church and campus pastors. He also meets with church leaders, who often seek Don out for his skills in helping them resolve some area of conflict. Because of his good relations with many churches in east-central Illinois, he often speaks in different churches on Sunday morning. Through Pastor-to-Pastor, Don has served 5 congregations as a short-term interim pastor, usually 5 to 6 months.