A few years ago, I wrote “My 22 Best Practices in 22 Years of Pastoral Ministry,” and each year since then I’ve added another best practice. Now in honour of my 25 years of pastoral ministry, I add one more: Know when it’s time to say good-bye.
“As people of faith, I feel we should have some kind of relationship,” said the president of the local Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’. He had called to invite my participation in an interfaith forum, and suggested fasting as an aid to peace that I and several other speakers could address from our different faith traditions.
Small Church Connections exists to help small churches develop a greater sense of their own potential and so to become more effective in serving their communities. According to founder Ron Johnson: “The small church has value in and of itself. While most of the attention is paid to large churches, the small church is making a powerful impact on Canadian church life.”
Some studies indicate that one in five people live with schizophrenia, clinical depression, bipolar disorder, or other mental illness. In a congregation of 250, that would be 50 people.
One study reports that 43% of people in the workplace have had a colleague with some form of mental illness. In a congregation of 250, that would be over 100 people.
Yet in light of this impact of mental health and mental illness, some pastors say, “we do not talk about this enough in our churches.”
As I reflected on the death of Billy Graham yesterday, I came across this quote from Billy Graham and Me: 101 Inspiring Personal Stories from Presidents, Pastors, Performers, and Other People Who Knew Him Well (Chicken Soup for the Soul, 2013):
“What does appropriate, healthy, self-care look like over the course of one’s life?
It looks like Billy Graham.”
Thank you to everyone who participated in my recent survey! Both your comments and the places where you chose to be silent have given me some good direction and a lot to think about in the coming year. I’m happy to share the following results.
I launched this website in June 2016, and my all-time most popular post is still my very first article on The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of church employment. That’s closely followed by What Do You Do When Your Job is Terminated? which tells the sad story of my professor husband’s painful job termination through no fault of his own.
In honour of this week’s Poetry at Work Day (the second Tuesday of January), I’m sharing an article that features some of the poetry of Mary Oliver and how it speaks to the life of ministry. This article was first published in Faith & Leadership with the tagline “how the poetry of Mary Oliver broadens the imagination for the daily work of ministry.”