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The Journey | Leighton Ford

The Journey: April 2024

April 1, 2024

“Lord Jesus, thank you for such a rich opportunity to extend nourishing deep roots for long-term ministry. I am encouraged to know that you listen and others listen to me, and that I can listen too. Amen.”

That is a prayer recently shared with us by Mark, a member of our Resilience Mentoring Community, following their gathering in Somers, Victoria, in Australia.

Leighton Ford Ministries (LFM) comes alongside pastors and ministry leaders as they journey through life and ministry… providing safe times, safe places, and safe friends to help strengthen ministry leaders over the long haul.

That has been my father’s passion for almost four decades. Following the death of my brother, he established LFM in 1986, desiring to identify, develop, and network the emerging leaders for the global cause of Christ. Since then, LFM has provided trusted friends on the journey through whole-life mentoring.

In 2019, thirty-three years after LFM started, Dad and I realized the need to expand the ministry. As Dad was getting older, and as I

We come alongside pastors and ministry leaders as they journey through life and ministry…

sensed God’s leading to sell the consulting firm I helped establish, we recognized the convergence of several streams. We believed the ministry needed to carry the torch beyond my Dad’s lifetime, and we saw an incredible need in not only mentoring young leaders – but in helping churches and ministries thrive.

Forming a Team
So, I came on board as LFM’s Chief Catalyst, forming a team that would help expand the ministry to help us build healthy leaders and thriving ministries across the globe. As a “catalyst,” my job has been to initiate lasting change. The Lord has been faithful to answer our prayers and bring a leadership team together. Let me introduce them to you.

Sunny Allen, our General Administration Coordinator, has worked in marketing, restaurant administration, and landscape design.

Jim Birchfield, Senior Coach, has a passion for equipping pastors and church leaders to discover and live their unique vision, with 27 years of experience leading churches and non-profits.

Alison Druckemiller, Director of Administration, brings years of experience serving in positions with Cru under both Bill Bright and Steve Douglas.

Linda Ferster, following twenty years as an aide to Congressmen and women in Washington, D.C., serves as our Mentoring Communities Coordinator.

Caroline Ford, our Partner Engagement Director, heads up our prayer support connections with ministry partners. Her background is in Human Resources management and ministry.

As Production Manager, Tim Helms heads up LFM’s video production and TCI Administration. Tim, a lifelong friend of the Ford family, is a pastor, videographer, worship leader, and servant leader. For those who remember Irv Chambers, Tim is following in his footsteps at LFM.

Pastor Clint Tolbert helped lead one of our visioning retreats in March for several churches in an LFM Cohort in Ohio.

Nick Hurst, an exciting young evangelist from Greenville, South Carolina, serves as our Social Media Director.

Rich Hurst (not related to Nick), serves as our Executive Director of Ministry Teams, bringing years of experience as a pastor, church leadership consultant, and an author and editor for a variety of publishers.

Chris Joyner, LFM’s Senior Executive Advisor, helps pastors and leadership teams recognize their specific callings and see how God gifted them to live out their Kingdom purpose.


“Precious [and of great consequence] in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His godly ones [so He watches over them]” (Psalm 116:15 AMP).
He Watches Over Them On February 29, the Leighton Ford Ministry family lost Jean Graham Ford, who left this earth to be in the presence of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

One friend shared, “Her spiritual influence was like the gentle flow of a river, moving but not forcing.”

Jean’s memorial service was held at Myers Park Presbyterian Church on Friday, March 8.
You can view the service at the following link: LFMCONNECT.ORG/MEMORIAL

Dave McKechnie, LFM’s President, served for 25 years as Senior Pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Houston, one of the largest congregations in the denomination.

Courtney McLaughlin, a pastor, spiritual director, mentor, and coach, is passionate about helping people find freedom in Jesus Christ.

Jim Osterhaus, Senior Executive Coach for LFM, supports pastors and ministry leaders as they navigate organizational, communication, change, and conflict issues.

Carol Jean Prevatte, our Director of Development, came to LFM after a career in the corporate world with Fortune 500 companies, including Eli Lilly.

Jim Singleton, LFM’s Executive Director of Missional Leadership, leverages years of experience as a senior pastor, seminary professor (Gordon Conwell), and mentor to help raise up the next generation of leadership.

Mark Slaughter, Director of International Mentoring and a long-time evangelist, loves to communicate the Gospel and mentor younger evangelists. He also serves with InterVarsity.

Mike Sweetland, LFM’s Finance Director, has worked as an accountant for churches, non-profits, consulting firms, and several major federal government contractors.

Rhett Wilson, a pastor, writer, and editor, and former Senior Writer for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, serves as our Senior Communications Director.

Will you please pray for our team as we seek to help maximize Leighton Ford Ministries to be a catalyst for mentoring a new generation of healthy leaders who sustain thriving ministries for the sake of the Gospel?

In just a few short years, we’ve brought together this team, representing decades of real world leadership experience. I wanted you to know them by name so that you can lift each of them up in prayer.

You continue to touch lives all over the globe through your faithful praying and giving. Thank you for investing in ministry leaders.

Remembering God’s faithfulness,

Download the full appeal letter here.

Will you consider helping kingdom leaders have deep relationships?

  • Praying daily for this ministry and the lives it reaches
  • Investing $2,000 to train and equip a leader for one of these mentoring groups
  • Providing $15,000 for the three-year launch of a new group
  • Offering $30,000 to cover the costs of a three-year church cohort for church planters, small churches, and churches in communities of color
LFM staff members Mark Slaughter and Rhett Wilson join ministry leaders from around the nation at a learning retreat in Tucson, Arizona, about mentoring resilient leaders for healthy churches.

Order Attentive Church Leadership
The world has changed. The changes around us present daunting challenges to the church, and we minister in places we have never been in before. We need to listen for not only what to do but also what not to do. In a world screaming in a thousand directions for our focus, it’s essential for us to become attentive to God, our congregation, and our community.

Kevin Ford and Jim Singleton call for attentive churches with attentive leaders who can discern cultural and organizational change and pivot accordingly.

Order Attentive Church Leadership and sign up for a complimentary Leadership Lift Toolkit, with valuable insights into effective leadership by scanning the code below.

“Pastors will be encouraged and educated to understand and respond to real-world situations. This is not a book of theory but of the practical realities of church life. You will find honest and vulnerable help here.”



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