The Hardest Lesson I’m Grateful I Learned

The Hardest Lesson I’m Grateful I Learned

When she turned and dramatically pointed her finger at me, I felt the room began to spin.

“Tell us, right now, pastor!” she demanded.

“Tell us what you actually believe.”

Even my ordination examination on the floor of Presbytery had…

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…

Clergy Self Care

The calling to ministry involves service to others, self-denial, and often, self-sacrifice.

For many clergy, investing in self-care, however, can be a challenge.

Whatever its source, feelings of obligation, guilt, or shame; or a lacking sense of boundaries, clergy are…

Improvisation in Ministry: “Yes, and…”

Improv has become, for me, more than playing a collection of silly games aimed at making an audience laugh.

Rather, improv is becoming a way of living.

Improvisers talk about “Yes, and…” If you know anything about improv beyond “Whose…

The Balancing Act

When I was a teenager I had the opportunity to play in a woodwind quintet for a wedding. It turned out to be a highlight of my musical experiencemy clarinet joining in with the flute, oboe, bassoon, French horn.


I still remember the hurt

This is a reflection from a participant in the Healthy Transitions Retreat for Clergy and Spouses of the Ministering to Ministers program.


“I still remember…

The hurt, the frustration,

the anger, the unbelief.

The questions…Why? What just happened?

15 Common Sense Practices for Pastoral Ministry

Emotional Intelligence is one of the fields of research 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 understanding relationships in the…

Education by Israel Galindo

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…

For the Bookshelf: It Takes More than Love

Like most pastors, prior to weddings, I meet with a couple several times.

Early in my ministry, I used a premarital survey that assessed people’s values and feelings and then highlighted various areas, like money, communication, or sex, that might…

For the bookshelf seeds for the future by Adam Tyler

Pastors, their families and best practices

The paradox is that if we want our families to be healthy, balanced and whole, then we need to work on ourselves.

How do I bring my best self to my family?

If I say that something is important to…

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…

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…

The effects of a pastoral forced termination on a congregation

The silent epidemic of clergy forced terminations seems to continue. According to a 2008 study by the Ministering to Ministers Foundation,


Nearly a fourth, 22.8% of pastors have either been terminated or forced to resign. Nearly two-thirds, 62%, of…

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…

What Clergy Don’t Talk About

Most pastors are good preachers, and some fine pulpiteers and wordsmiths. In their preaching and teaching ministry they need to cover a wide range of topics, issues, and subjects, from the Bible to contemporary complex social issues; from marriage to…