Knowing When To Fold ‘Em: The Plight of Second Chair Leaders

Knowing When To Fold ‘Em: The Plight of Second Chair Leaders

Congregational staff who occupy the “second chair” often find themselves in a precarious position related to the prospects of their tenure.

Sometimes circumstances dictate this, but also, the relationship with the senior pastor can be a major factor, or, simply…

A Heart Condition Worth Having!

This summer Healthy Seminarians-Healthy Church has the wonderful opportunity for Lucas Mburu, a 2nd-year MATS student at CTS, to complete a part-time supervised ministry with us in partnership with Columbia Presbyterian Church.

Lucas’ internship focuses on “Building Flourishing Communities,” an…

Two Dilemmas Facing Churches Today

A friend took me out to lunch recently. He’s a retired pastor, former seminary professor, former interim minister, and currently a part-time hospice chaplain. Ministry offers varied vocational outlets, so that profile is not that unusual.

 

As two vocational…

Ministry in an Age of Incivility

One insight from participants in our Pastoral Excellence Program is that ministry is hard and getting harder. One particularly troublesome challenge clergy tell us they face is an increase in incivility, not only in the culture,…

Leadership in Ministry Faculty Coaches Marcuson and Josund Share Insights About Clergy Responses to COVID-19 Part 2

When the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders caused our spring Leadership in Ministry (LIM) sessions to close, our seventeen faculty members quickly strategized. The spring coaching groups are meeting virtually. We asked faculty coaches from the Portland workshop, Margaret Marcuson (MM) and…

People Need a Narrative: Clergy and COVID-19

I’ve been gratified for, and impressed with, at the presence of our pastors on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have jumped in reluctantly onto social media. The learning curve is evident, sometimes amusing.

As is often the…

Leadership in Ministry Faculty Coaches Lamkin and Maccini Share Insights About Clergy Responses to COVID-19 Part 1

When the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders caused our spring Leadership in Ministry (LIM) sites to close, our seventeen faculty members quickly strategized. The spring coaching groups are meeting virtually. We asked faculty coaches James Lamkin (JL) Atlanta faculty and Rebecca Maccini…

A Healing Experience for Clergy

Author Tim Sledge, in Goodbye Jesus: An Evangelical Preacher’s Journey Beyond Faith, wrote about the silent epidemic of clergy forced termination. Citing a survey reviewed by Leadership magazine, he wrote:

 

“Squabbles that end in the ouster of ministers are…

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…

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