Category: Church Leadership

How to Start a Small Group

Get motivated and get the word out. Instead of giving up something for Lent this year, I decided to start a small group that would use Christ Is for Us. After working on the book last year, I was eager to share the published version, so I committed to prayer, put out the word, invited anyone interested to join me, and together we decided on a mutually agreeable time. We are women and men; single and married; with young children, school-aged children or no children; taking part with our spouse or on our own. We’ve rescheduled the laundry, arranged for child care, gotten out of the house and over to the church earlier than usual–all in the interest of getting together to deepen our faith and strengthen community together. [...] Read More ›

Multiplicity and Healthy Ministry

Before I entered pastoral ministry, I was a political science major, an office worker, a grad student in theology, a lay church leader and worship committee member, a published writer, a journal keeper, a poet, a proof reader for an engineering firm, a college instructor, the wife of a law student turned professor, a daughter,…

Life in the Fishbowl and Why Your Pastor Left

When I started ministry as an interim pastor, the church’s associate pastor for youth was already planning to leave for medical school. He had served the church well for three years, the youth group was strong with excellent youth and adult leaders, and the church gave him a wonderful and tearful farewell.  […]

Do You Need a Safe Place to Share Your Heart?

A pastor shared a personal struggle with a group of other pastors at a denominational gathering. Several expressed support, and the group prayed together, but one of the pastors later expressed this caution: You probably shared because you thought it was a safe place, but I submit to you that it’s not. […]

Like It or Not: Appreciating Pastor Appreciation Month

I don’t know who first declared October as Pastor Appreciation Month, but it’s never been a special focus for my congregation. I don’t get showered with Pastor Appreciation cards. No one plans a special worship celebration acknowledging my ministry and leadership. My church has never taken out a full-page ad in the local newspaper with my photo and an expression of their thanks as suggested by one LifeWay blogger–and good thing they haven’t, since I’d feel totally embarrassed! […]

When You Work for the Church: What Readers Say Behind the Scenes

A fellow blogger laments that blog comments are dying, and another lists reasons why readers might not leave a comment: the post is already so complete they don’t know what to add, they take exception to what’s written but don’t want to argue, there’s no concrete question to respond to, they’re too tired or too busy, or no one else is commenting. […]

How sermons are stifling christianity

Preaching is one of the mainstays of Protestant christianity (though not so important in Catholic and Orthodox churches). Bible colleges teach how to do it, websites tell us how important it is, and those considered good preachers can become celebrities. Yet the words “sermon” and “preaching” have negative connotations to many people, … Continue reading How sermons are stifling christianity

Doing Good Better: 9 Reasons Why You Need to Read This Book

I often think of the church as the body of Christ, a family of believers, a community of faith–and much less often as a “nonprofit organization.” That’s not a definition found in Scripture, yet in our twenty-first century, North American context, the church and church-related agencies do function as non-profit organizations with boards, budgets, personnel, and […]

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