The Times They Keep a Changing: Bivocational Ministry as the New Norm?

The Times They Keep a Changing: Bivocational Ministry as the New Norm?

Most of the pastors in the world are bivocational.

That has always been true, asserts Karl Vaters, author of The Grasshopper Myth and Small Church Essentials.

Most people attend larger churches, so a larger multi-staff congregation is perceived to be…

What are your assumptions about leadership?

Effective teachers always check students’ assumptions and help them uncover their prejudices. 

 

Assumptions and prejudices cause students to “pre-judge” ideas, concepts, and truths. When unchecked, these assumptions can block learning. Learning requires the accommodation of the new to the…

Leaders, Not Principals

In the media, examples of school principals abound from (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off ) highly suspicious Ed Rooney, to the distant yet caring Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series.

As someone who worked in public education for eight years…

Your congregation is an organization too

Congregations are, in their essence, authentic communities of faith—despite the fact that they are also organizations.

That’s an insight worth keeping in mind for every congregational leader.

Too often, the tendency for is to address congregational issues from an administrative…

Basic Rules for Planning Congregational Education Programs

Here are a few basic rules I always share with folks looking to get a handle on how to plan their church education program:

 

The persons who show up at an event are the ones who need to be…

5 Ministry Quotes to Use Right Now

It’s okay to be green:”

My Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor assured me after I relayed a mistake that I had made in a pastoral conversation that day.

I glared at her.

As I prepared to enter into my final year…

Is my Sunday school class too big?

Every once in a while I get a chance to visit congregations with large Sunday School or Sunday morning Bible classes (though these are far and few between since covid).

 

I’ve seen some classes have between 50 and 100…

Emotional Integration in Organizations

At the conclusion of a recent presentation on leadership in organizations someone asked, “How would you define emotional integration in an organization?”

While I did not use that phrase in my presentation, it was a good question.

 

The…

Why someone might not attend church

I met up with some old friends who’d brought along some of their friends I appreciated meeting.

It didn’t take long to get to that awkward point in the conversation that follows the “What do you do for a living?”

How does transformation work in the church?

I’ve been hearing a lot about “church transformation” lately: many church denominations have transformational initiatives, to help turn around declining congregations.

There’s a lot of pressure on clergy leaders to produce results, especially numerical growth.

The pressure exists elsewhere, too:…

The Stuff of Life

Recently I found a new call and made the big move from Tennessee all the way to California.

I have spent weeks unpacking boxes of books and personal mementoes, each time asking myself how I could have acquired so much…

Thriving Congregations Part 2: Characteristics of a Thriving Congregation

NOTE: Columbia seminary’s Center for Lifelong Learning has launched its Lilly-funded Thriving Congregations program, “reKindle: A Congregational Development Initiative.” Selected congregations will be awarded grants of up to $15,000 to execute a thriving congregation initiative in their ministry context. Applications…

Thriving Congregations. Part 1: Challenges to Becoming and Sustaining A Thriving Congregation

NOTE: Columbia seminary’s Center for Lifelong Learning has launched its Lilly-funded Thriving Congregations program, “reKindle: A Congregational Development Initiative.” Selected congregations will be awarded grants of up to $15,000 to execute a thriving congregation initiative in their ministry context. Applications…

rekindle interview: “My hope is that congregations receive encouragement, rest, hope, courage, and collegial wisdom”

Columbia Theological Seminary recently received a grant of $969,528 from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help establish the “reKindle: Congregational Development in a Post COVID-19 Era” program through its Center for Lifelong Learning.  

    

The reKindle Impact Grant will help realize the goal of the Thriving…

The Help You Never Knew You Needed

It was sometime in the early 2000s that I was searching the interwebs for some ministry ideas and I ran across this thing called S3, a grant offered by the Center for Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary.

Being on…

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