Chaos Results When Small, Vocal Minority is Allowed to Rule

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…

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…

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…

Three Outreach Ideas for Rural Churches

April 23, 2018—One of the biggest challenges in ministry is outreach, especially if your church is small and doesn’t have the financial or human resources to do BIG outreach the way some city and suburban churches might. Yet, we are…

Rural Churches as Sacred Spaces

April 9, 2018—I was once on staff at a small church in the Houston area. We had less than 150 people weekly, but our property situated on a busy road where nearly 30,000 cars a day passed us by. One…

Spouses Too Are Casualties in Church Conflicts

April 2, 2018—I have had many restless nights and feel the Lord is nudging me to tell my side of what actually happened to my husband and me. Many people have been hurt by the termination of my husband from…

It Can Happen to You

March 19, 2018—Not too many years ago a popular song reminded us that some of the things we least expect can happen to us. Forced terminations of pastors certainly fit within this expectation. Most pastors have never faced a forced…

Rejection Hurts, But Joy Comes in the Morning

March 5, 2018—The pastor talked slowly but deliberately as he responded to a request to tell the group about his experience of being forced from his pastorate several years earlier.

“For decades, I contended that life gets both harder and…

When They Circle the Wagons…Draw a Triangle!

October 23, 2017—The time finally came to deal with the cold (and occasionally, not-so-cold) war between the Director of Music Ministries and the Organist. Lines had been drawn. Sides had been chosen. It was like someone had given the old…

Why Change is Hard to Achieve

July 24, 2017—Why is change so hard to achieve? One explanation is the phenomena and power of homeostasis. Whenever a leader attempts to bring about change he or she will most certainly encounter resistance, if not outright sabotage. While we…

Possibility and Potentiality

June 26, 2017—I had an interesting conversation with a local church minister who expressed frustration about his congregation’s failure to live fully into its potential. That’s not an uncommon frustration for pastors and local church leaders. But I have found…

CLL Receives Lilly Grant to Serve Pastors in Crisis and Pastors Who Innovate

June 24, 2017—The Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL) at Columbia Theological Seminary has received a $50,000 planning grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. through Thriving in Ministry, a new initiative that seeks to support selected religious organizations in creating or enhancing programs…

On the “Forever Young Urban Pastors” and coming to the Table

May 12, 2016—We now call ourselves the “Forever Young Urban Pastors” group. We used to be the Young Urban Pastors group. And when I was invited to join the group in 2009 for the gathering in Seattle, I was still…

Bookends

January 21, 2016—Do you have a set of bookends in your office or study? I’m not talking about the metal brackets you find in libraries. I’m talking about real bookends, made of wood or rock or other sturdy substances. I…

On Pastoral Identity: A Theology of Jeans

August 6, 2015—The idea for this pastoral identity blog post came while having lunch with my good friend Tony Hoshaw, as we were discussing what it means to be a pastor today and what that looked like, specifically, for…

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