Life in the Fishbowl and Why Your Pastor Left

When I started ministry as an interim pastor, the church’s associate pastor for youth was already planning to leave for medical school. He had served the church well for three years, the youth group was strong with excellent youth and adult leaders, and the church gave him a wonderful and tearful farewell. Today he is…

Do You Need a Safe Place to Share Your Heart?

A pastor shared a personal struggle with a group of other pastors at a denominational gathering. Several expressed support, and the group prayed together, but one of the pastors later expressed this caution: You probably shared because you thought it was a safe place, but I submit to you that it’s not. Another pastor says,…

Like It or Not: Appreciating Pastor Appreciation Month

I don’t know who first declared October as Pastor Appreciation Month, but it’s never been a special focus for my congregation. I don’t get showered with Pastor Appreciation cards. No one plans a special worship celebration acknowledging my ministry and leadership. My church has never taken out a full-page ad in the local newspaper with…

Doing Good Better: 9 Reasons Why You Need to Read This Book

I often think of the church as the body of Christ, a family of believers, a community of faith–and much less often as a “nonprofit organization.” That’s not a definition found in Scripture, yet in our twenty-first century, North American context, the church and church-related agencies do function as non-profit organizations with boards, budgets, personnel, and…

Is There a Better Way to Terminate an Employee?

When a friend heard of my husband’s abrupt job termination through no fault of his own, she immediately responded, “You don’t have to tell me, but have they done this before?” And then she proceeded to tell me about another Christian organization with a history of abrupt and painful terminations. The stories she shared were…