Healthy Ministry and the Pastor with Mental Illness

When Tony Roberts first published Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission, I was immediately intrigued by the title and subtitle. In the context of church life, I understood ministry and mission. I even understood mental health and mental illness–but madness? Sandwiched between ministry and mission, the frank term made me want to learn more. I eagerly read…

Why Some Apologies Fall Flat

When United Airlines had a paying customer forcibly removed from a flight so one of its own crew members could fly in his place, the news and accompanying video went viral. How could a 69-year-old doctor returning from vacation end up bloodied and being dragged off the aircraft? Why did the airline wait until all…

The Pitfalls of Church-Speak and What to Say Instead

How to Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say In this YouTube video, musician Micah Tyler offers a light-hearted take on church-speak, or what some call Christianese: Every field has its own jargon that may not be easily understood by others. Some may appear as abbreviations like http (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) or…

Multiplicity and Healthy Ministry

Before I entered pastoral ministry, I was a political science major, an office worker, a grad student in theology, a lay church leader and worship committee member, a published writer, a journal keeper, a poet, a proof reader for an engineering firm, a college instructor, the wife of a law student turned professor, a daughter,…

How to Prevent Burnout

“It may be legal, but the ethics stink!” I winced at my friend’s comment about a Christian organization’s poor employment practices, but I knew he was right. That’s why I read and blogged about Richard Kyte’s Ethical Business—because ethical decision-making doesn’t happen automatically even for those who claim to be Christian. In an age of “alternate…

Good Ethics Require More than a Good Feeling

In The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, I list a number of difficult employer/employee situations in church and Christian organizations and ask, “Why do churches and other Christian organizations seem to handle employee relationships so poorly? Or is it that Christian employees have unreasonable expectations of their employers? Why do apparently good, well-meaning, Christian people…