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 other responsibilities.
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 from another community and another denomination, yet they sounded sadly familiar.
When I’m at church on a Sunday morning, I’m usually up front welcoming everyone to worship, leading prayer, or preaching. But one Sunday morning, as our youth led worship, I actually sat in the balcony with my husband. “How does it feel to have a week off?” one of our church members asked me.
Toxic Skill (noun)
something that you do well, but brings no life or energy;
a skill that has overstepped its intended bounds.
I had never heard of a toxic skill until I read Your Vocational Credo by Deborah Koehn Loyd (InterVarsity Press, 2015), and I was immediately intrigued both by her term and the way she described it.
When I was first called into pastoral ministry, both the church and I knew enough…
Since I shared my husband’s painful job loss, I’ve received many emails and other private messages from people who have also experienced difficult endings in their employment. Five, six, ten years or more later, some have never felt free to share their feelings of betrayal and loss. Some have changed churches or denominations, or left ministry all together. Some have been close to suicide and still struggle with depression and anxiety.
If you look at your own denomination’s classified ads or at pastor search sites online,…