The Number 1 Cause of Clergy-Congregation Conflict May Not be What You Think

The Number 1 Cause of Clergy-Congregation Conflict May Not be What You Think

When asked what the number one issue is that causes clergy-congregation conflict (often leading to a forced termination) one can guess several: money, theology, or leadership style for example. Those are good guesses, but they may not be the most…

Design for Clergy Lifelong Learning

My current context for ministry is theological education in the seminary. We see our mission as preparing clergy for congregational ministry, as well as leaders in other ministry contexts (non-profits, missions, etc.). As with most seminaries we do…

How To Take A Stand

Inevitably, leaders will encounter times when they will need to take a stand in the midst of crisis and polarization. At those times, common temptations are: (1) make people feel better, (2) try to reason with unreasonable people, (3) win…

A Leadership in Ministry Q&A

The Center for Lifelong Learning interviewed Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning, Israel Galindo (“Dr. G”), about the Leadership in Ministry Workshops, part of the Center’s post graduate Pastoral Excellence Program.

 

CLL: Can you share briefly what the…

seminary like Holy Week analogy

Understanding the Difficult Parishioner

Interacting with seminarians typically raises two affections in me. The first is hope. God is still calling people to participate in the redemptive mission of the Kingdom, and people are still answering that call. The second, is a bit of…

The 15 Most Common Anxiety Triggers in a Congregation

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

The Box Story

I counseled a parishioner who was dissatisfied with his work for a religious agency.

“I can do the work,” he said, “but my heart is not in it.”

Meanwhile, he was pondering the possibility of a new job that was…

Spiritual Leadership During Turbulent Times

During periods of societal regression, people may feel more entitled to even their bad behavior.

They may feel they have legitimate “excuses” for behaving as they do and that this should be understood and accepted no matter what the negative…

Leaving Well

I have had many conversations with clergy who are contemplating leaving their ministry settings.

It’s not unusual for these consultations to come in waves, and it is always interesting that they do.

It seems that issues, crises, fads, and topics…

Common Sense in Pastoral Leadership

Emotional Intelligence is one of the fields of research that currently is being applied to pastoral leadership.

I think it holds great promise for effective pastoral leadership because the nature of leadership in the context of congregations is more about…

Connectional Leadership and the Self

Experience has not changed my belief that when the leadership (“L”) position is filled by a leader (or leaders) who is moving forward in his/her own process of self-differentiation, any system stands the best chance of dealing creatively with, rather…

Shedding Light in the Dark Night of a Forced Termination

It is almost impossible for anyone to go through a forced resignation, the loss of one’s livelihood, the rejection by people to whom one gave one’s life, without feeling some depression.

This can show up physically in degrees of anxiety,…

Changing Others, Changing Self

A very nervous young bride-to-be was counseled by her pastor on a way to stay focused for getting through the ceremony.

“Take it one step at a time,” said the minister, “When you enter the church tomorrow, you will be…

Everything Takes Five Years

The new year is here but don’t expect everything else to be new. Everything takes five years.

I am often reminded of what my friend Margaret Marcuson, author of Leaders Who Last, says about bringing about change in congregations, which…

It Only Takes a Few of Them

The forced termination of clergy remains one of the most difficult, and often tragic, issues for congregations.

It can take a congregation years to recover from the forced termination of a pastor—and so, also, for the pastor.

A single episode…

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