Leighton Ford Ministries

Healthy Leaders. Thriving Ministries.

Mission

Leighton Ford Ministries is a catalyst for mentoring healthy leaders who sustain thriving ministries for the sake of the Gospel. We come alongside emerging missional leaders as they journey through life and ministry, primarily through whole-life mentoring and professional ministry consulting services. Leighton Ford Ministries equips and encourages mentoring communities for pastors and ministry leaders, facilitates personal spiritual retreats, and works with other ministries and Christ-centered businesses to launch mentoring programs. Recognizing that certain organizational problems go beyond the typical mentoring relationship, Leighton Ford Ministries also offers professional ministry consulting in the areas of visioning, transformation, governance, and leadership development.

Ruling year info

1998

Founding President

Dr. Leighton Ford

Chief Catalyst

Mr. Kevin Ford

Main address

624 Matthews-Mint Hill Rd. Suite 204

Matthews, NC 28105 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

56-2065723

NTEE code info

Christian (X20)

Nonprofit Management (S50)

Leadership Development (W70)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Register now

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Pastoral ministry is currently marked by change. In 2020, the change has been forced and rapid, with pastors scrambling to adapt to ministry in a global pandemic. More broadly, many pastors and ministry leaders are navigating societal change and the changing context of congregational life and ministry. According to research compiled by Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, 90 percent of pastors feel called by God and in the place where God has called them. Yet, just over half of pastors report being simultaneously fulfilled and discouraged, stressed, or fatigued. Our research and interviews indicate that isolation and insufficient training/preparation are two of the most common challenges facing pastors/ministry leaders across all ministry contexts. According to research by the Lilly Endowment, Notre Dame, and others, mentoring is a key indicator of healthy pastoral leadership which addresses many of these common challenges, but is too often not available.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Mentoring Communities

Leighton Ford Ministries comes alongside emerging missional leaders as they journey through life and ministry. We support healthy leaders and thriving ministries through a unique model of whole-life mentoring and mentoring communities.

A typical mentoring community is comprised of eight-to-ten ministry leaders from a variety of disciplines (pastoral, academic, parachurch leader, missionary, business leader) who gather regularly with a mentor leader for rest, listening, and prayer. We provide ongoing guidance, training, and support, but do not enforce a "one size fits all" pattern. Rather, each group reflects the personality and gifts of the mentor leader, as well as the needs and personalities of the mentees.

Population(s) Served

Our ministry is designed to be exponential. Leighton Ford Ministries has developed a unique model of whole-life mentoring, but our focus is not on selling books. Rather, we want to be a catalyst for mentoring healthy leaders who sustain thriving ministries.

As part of our ministry, LFM hosts regular mentor leader training events where ministry leaders experience a typical mentoring retreat and are trained in how to form a mentoring community. Some of these ministry leaders then form new LFM mentoring communities, while others use the training in their own ministry context.

Population(s) Served

Across the years, many Christian leaders have been assisted in finding time for reflection and renewal through personal spiritual retreats facilitated by Leighton Ford Ministries. These retreats are one more way we come alongside missional leaders as they journey through life and ministry.

Spiritual direction (or spiritual mentoring) is a centuries-old practice to help shape our lives and our service in Christlike patterns. It is modeled on Jesus, whose way of developing leaders was not classroom teaching, but life upon life . . . like a master craftsman tutoring a young apprentice.

The typical retreat is three days, starting with extended conversation with an experienced spiritual director, continuing through solitary time for being alone with God, and concluding with a debrief. The purpose and best use of the retreats, in our experience, is for unhurried time to be alone with the Lord, His creation, and your own innermost being. We encourage participants to not come with a big agenda or lots of reading material, but instead bring an open heart and a readiness to wait quietly on the Lord.

We recommend personal retreats usually for one person, but couples or co-workers have in some cases found it helpful to come together.

Population(s) Served

Leighton Ford Ministries comes alongside emerging missional leaders as they journey though life and ministry. In addition to mentoring, LFM offers professional ministry consulting to support organizational issues including visioning, transformation, leadership development, stewardship, and governance.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of Mentoring Communities

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Mentoring Communities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of people trained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Mentor Leader Training

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Leighton Ford Ministries comes alongside emerging missional leaders as they journey through life and ministry. We come alongside pastors and other ministry leaders through whole-life mentoring, address specific challenges through personal spiritual retreats, and provide additional support for organizational issues via professional ministry consulting.

Specifically, our current mentoring goals are to:
1. Train approximately 50 experienced pastors to serve as mentors.
2. Support and resource those pastors in launching mentoring communities.
3. Serve 320-400 pastors through the trained mentors and mentoring communities.

Our goal is to be an exponential ministry. The very first Leighton Ford Ministries mentoring community, founded more than three decades ago, has generated at least 20 second and third generation mentoring communities. As we train a new generation of mentors and launch new mentoring communities, we will also be alert to exponential opportunities to launch even more mentoring of pastors and ministry leaders.

We enable pastors/ministry leaders to thrive in many different contexts by providing safe times, safe places, and safe people where peers and mentors listen deeply, pray together, and help one another listen to God.

We also seek to engage pastors/ministry leaders in using whole-life mentoring within their current ministry. For example, working with a church to launch a program for mentoring key volunteers, or working with a mission agency to provide mentoring for missionaries and staff.

Leighton Ford Ministries is a catalyst for mentoring healthy leaders who sustain thriving ministries for the sake of the Gospel.

On an ongoing basis, Leighton Ford Ministries identifies and/or receives requests from experienced pastors and ministry leaders to launch new mentoring communities. Often, these communities are made up of pastors working in the same region or denomination, or within similar ministry contexts (for example, evangelists or inner-city ministry).

In 2020, Leighton Ford Ministries will also convene a gathering of 15 senior advisors made up of experienced local pastors, seminary and denominational leaders, and mentoring experts. In partnership with our Board of Directors and Strategic Advisory Board, they will help identify additional potential mentors and mentoring opportunities (for example, a regional group of church planters).

We host at least one annual "Potential Mentor Retreat" in which experienced pastors/ministry leaders experience a typical mentoring gathering and receive specialized training in how to lead a mentoring community. In order to focus on each individual and promote deep listening, a typical retreat involves no more than 10 potential mentors. LFM then supports and resources the potential mentors in launching mentoring communities.

LFM does not enforce a one-size-fits-all model. Each group reflects the personality and gifts of the mentor leader, as well as the needs and personalities of the mentees.

At the core of each LFM mentoring community is deep prayer and an authentic paying attention to each individual. We are committed to three vital aspects of spiritual mentoring:
• Attention to whole-life development
• Withdrawing for time together, regularly
• Long-term, and ideally, lifelong relationships

Typically, a stipend to help cover travel costs is made available for the first three years of each mentoring community. In our experience, after the first three years, participants find the relationships so valuable they joyfully pursue their own funding.

LFM has a 30-year history of supporting and nurturing mentoring communities for pastors and ministry leaders, many of which are volunteer-led and self-sustaining. Financial support for administration, stipends, and resources is provided by an existing network of Christian business leaders across America.

We strive to operate as a lean organization with low overhead, primarily utilizing a network of 1099 consultants and experienced volunteers. This approach allows us to have someone like Ken Carter (former president of the World Council of Methodist Bishops) on our team. A full-time role would be impossible for a variety of reasons, but he can contribute as a coach and consultant because that work is more episodic for him.

LFM directly supports a network of 32 mentoring communities encouraging and sustaining over 500 ministry leaders worldwide. Because our ministry is exponential, many of these mentoring communities have spawned second and third generation mentoring communities.

Our leadership includes:

-Dr. Leighton Ford, who served as Vice President of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association from 1955 to 1985 and as Chairman of the Lausanne Committee on World Evangelization from 1976 to 1992. Since the mid-1980s, he has focused on mentoring the next generation of ministry leaders as "a friend on the journey and an artist of the soul."

-Kevin Ford, who has consulted with hundreds of churches and pastors throughout North America and has a Master of Divinity from Regent College at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of "Transforming Church" (Tyndale, 2007) and was senior consultant for the redesign of the U.S. Army Staff - the largest employer in the United States.

-Rich Hurst is a veteran pastor with experience in multi-ethnic settings, church leadership consultant, and former editor of Strategic Adult Ministry for David C. Cook Publishing. Rich joined LFM in 2019 to help develop a master’s in ministry leadership program in partnership with Belhaven University. He has a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary.

-Dr. MaryKate Morse is Dean of Portland Seminary and is lead author of "Lifelong Leadership: Woven Together Through Mentoring Communities," an LFM resource published by NavPress in 2020. She is lead mentor for Portland Seminary's Leadership and Spiritual Formation D.Min. track and serves as a mentor and trainer for Lausanne Young Leaders and Leighton Ford Ministries.

-

Since 1985, Leighton Ford Ministries has:

-Launched and sustained 32 mentoring communities supporting over 500 ministry leaders worldwide.
-Facilitated personal spiritual retreats for hundreds of pastors and ministry leaders.
-Directly counseled and mentored thousands of ministry leaders, ranging from the well-known leaders of marquee ministries to local church pastors to former inmates now involved in prison ministry.
-Consulted with 1,000 churches and a broad range of denominational judicatories to support congregations through visioning, governance, transformation, and leadership development.

Our mission is to be a catalyst for mentoring Healthy Leaders who sustain Thriving Ministries for the sake of the Gospel. This ministry has an exponential impact as the pastors and parachurch leaders minister to their congregations and spheres of influence.

In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, Leighton Ford Ministries has pressed forward with launching two new Mentoring Communities in 2020:

1. A specially-selected group of emerging, missional pastors.
2. A specially-selected group of women involved in justice-related ministries, including human trafficking.

Over the next five years, our goals are to:

1. Train approximately 50 experienced pastors to serve as mentors.
2. Support and resource those pastors in launching mentoring communities.
3. Serve 320-400 pastors through the trained mentors and mentoring communities.

We are also pursuing opportunities to provide professional ministry consulting to smaller churches.

Financials

Leighton Ford Ministries
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Leighton Ford Ministries

Board of directors
as of 2/26/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Anne Grizzle

Boys Home of Virginia

Leighton Ford

Leighton Ford Ministries

Kevin Ford

Leighton Ford Ministries

Anne Huffman

Marriage and Family Therapist

Rick Noling

Intellergy

Dave McKechnie

Grace Presbyterian Church, Houston

Hal Northrop

Callaway Gardens

Roger Parrott

Belhaven University

Mark Slaughter

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/23/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/23/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.