Category: The Church

Ministry and Mary Oliver’s Poetry

In honour of this week’s Poetry at Work Day (the second Tuesday of January), I’m sharing an article that features some of the poetry of Mary Oliver and how it speaks to the life of ministry. This article was first published in Faith & Leadership with the tagline “how the poetry of Mary Oliver broadens the imagination. [...]

What Does MC USA Want in an Executive Director?

When a congregation goes through a pastoral transition, it has a lot of conversations. What do we want in a pastor? A good preacher? An activist? Someone who is good at visitation? Someone skilled in conflict resolution? As Mennonite Church USA prepares to welcome a new executive director next spring, we ought to ask the same question: What do we want in an executive director. […] Continue reading What Does MC USA Want in an Executive Director?

Book review: Disarming Scripture

Disarming Scripture by Derek Flood The Old Testament world was a violent place. For a christian, the most troubling violence is surely that said to be commanded by God, whether it be Abraham being commanded to sacrifice his son and heir Isaac, Joshua commanded to exterminate Canaanites who are unfortunate enough to be living in...

Leaders Need a Deep and Abiding Sense of God’s Call

Leaders have to know who they are. . . . When everything else crumbles and when you are in situations of disillusionment, when plans haven’t worked out, when colleagues have disappointed you, there’ll come those times when you say, “Why am I doing this?” At that point, what is needed is a deep and abiding sense of God’s call. […]

Prophet’s Playlist: Thanksgiving Edition (November 2017)

Welcome to a special edition of Prophet’s Playlist – just in time for Thanksgiving. The theme tying these songs together will be the genocide of the Native American people and the theft of their land. Many people around the United States will be gathering with their families, celebrating what they are grateful for. […] Continue reading "Prophet’s Playlist: Thanksgiving Edition (November 2017)"

Why Your Pastor Needs You to Pray

When you work for the church or other Christian organization, it’s most helpful to have a clear job description and contract, regular reviews, and other personnel policies and practices that are respectful of both employer and employee. But beyond the legalities and policies that are part of the employer-employee relationship is the covenant community we share with one another as part of the body of Christ. We are not only employer and employee to one another, but brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. […]

500 years later – a new reformation

This post is a revised version of my 2014 post The new Reformation. Martin Luther is examined for heresy. 500 years ago, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenberg church door, and, it is often said, began the Protestant Reformation. 40 years...

500 Years Ago Today

Martin Luther redefined Christian vocation by saying, “The works of monks and priests, however holy and arduous they may be, do not differ one whit in the sight of God from the works of the rustic laborer in the field or the woman going about her household tasks.” When he talked about vocation he liked […]

When You Feel Like Running, Then Run to Jesus

In Resilient Ministry: What Pastors Told Us About Surviving and Thriving, authors Bob Burns, Tasha D. Chapman, and Donald C. Guthrie ask: What does it take for pastors not only to survive but to thrive in fruitful ministry over the long haul? Their study examined 5 areas: Spiritual Formation; Self-Care; Emotional and Cultural Intelligence; Marriage and Family;…

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