The Middle of the Story (and hurrying up to catch up)

The Middle of the Story (and hurrying up to catch up)

November 26, 2018—One of the most mystical concepts in Bowen Theory is that of the multigenerational transmission process of relationship systems. This multigenerational process is a powerful force at work in biological families and in congregations. The concept…

The Burnout Cycle

November 19, 2018—During a recent conversation with a new clergy friend, he shared his experience of burnout. After five years at his previous church he’d not taken a vacation. Weariness led to seriousness, then a neglect of self-care, then a…

Why Bowen Theory is Useless

November 12, 2018—Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST), or “Bowen Theory,” continues to grow in its interest to, and influence among, clergy, denominational leaders, and seminaries. I think this is a good thing, overall. Many have found in BFST a frame…

Chaos Results When Small, Vocal Minority is Allowed to Rule

September 3, 2018—Jerry Harvey, author of The Abilene Paradox, tells an interesting story that took place years ago on a sweltering July Sunday afternoon in the small town of Coleman, Texas. Harvey and his wife were sitting with her parents…

15 Most Common Anxiety Triggers in Congregations

August 27, 2018—It’s no secret that congregations experience times of anxiety. Those periods of acute anxiety can be triggered by any number of events, conditions, or situations. Here are the 15 most common anxiety triggers in a congregation (in no…

Maybe the Problem is With You

July 30, 2018—Have you ever heard a pastor say, “Why is it that no matter what church I go to I always end up with the same bunch of @&#* idiots?!” If you’ve had a string of dysfunctional churches, the…

Church Conflict Can Take On A Life Of Its Own

July 23, 2018—Chris Hedges states that after a period of time, war begins to develop its own life. The former theology student turned journalist wrote in his book, War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, that those involved…

Thriving in Ministry

July 11, 2018—We believe thriving in ministry is theologically connected to a commitment to continual growth and maturation, individually and as a minister: growth as a person of faith, growth in interpersonal relationships, and continued growth in ministry competences—in short,…

Could Emotional Intelligence Have Kept Me From A Forced Termination?

July 9, 2018—Have you ever met someone and the longer you talked the more distressed or angry you became, but had no apparent reason for your reaction? Have you ever walked into a meeting and soon realized there was an…

Healthy Transitions Wellness Retreat for Ministers and Spouses

June 25, 2018—The Center for Lifelong Learning is pleased to partner with the Ministering to Ministers Foundation in offering the Transitioning Into Wellness Retreat for Ministers and Spouses. The wellness retreat provides a relaxed atmosphere and confidential setting…

Is There A Rulebook On Forced Terminations?

June 11, 2018—After facilitating a session of participants’ stories at a Healthy Transitions Wellness Retreat, I was asked, “Is there a rulebook on forced termination?” He had observed the similar “dynamics” or “rules” in the stories. At every retreat the…

Don’t Waste Your Pain

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Center for Lifelong Learning has partnered with the Ministering to Ministers Foundation to help address the crises of clergy forced termination. If you have experienced a forced termination from your ministry consider attending the Healthy Transitions Wellness…

Get Out of Your Rut: Novelty, Reflection, Learning and Leadership

May 21, 2018—It’s worth confessing: most of us, at some point, settle into a comfortable professional routine (a rut, really) that intersects with the achievement of a certain level of competence and the expectations placed on us about the job….

Forced Terminations and Ethics

May 14, 2018—Ethics are often a victim of forced pastoral terminations and for that matter, the continuing conflicts in church life which lead to such traumatic moments. Nearly every minister who has suffered an involuntary termination or a ‘near miss’…

Small But Unlimited

May 21, 2018—As a bi-vocational pastor, I am constantly reflecting on how one vocation informs the other. I serve a small congregation but I also work through The Outreach Foundation to resource small churches, and to connect them with our…

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