Why Your Pastor Needs You to Pray

When you work for the church or other Christian organization, it’s most helpful to have a clear job description and contract, regular reviews, and other personnel policies and practices that are respectful of both employer and employee. But beyond the legalities and policies that are part of the employer-employee relationship is the covenant community we…

How Do You Handle Self-Care?

I’m excited to share the fantastic news that I will be publishing another book with Herald Press, to be released next year!! Normally I would post any writing news on my other blog, Writing and Other Acts of Faith, but it seems most appropriate to share the news here first. Why? Because my new book project…

Boundary Training that Moves Beyond Sexual-Misconduct Problems

In the context of Christian ministry, boundary training is often presented as training to prevent sexual misconduct. In my denomination for example, all new pastors take a Relationships with Integrity seminar, with a refresher course every six years. Given the seriousness of professional sexual misconduct and abuse, such training is essential. At the same time,…

More on Mental Illness: Preventing Suicide

Two weeks ago I published Healthy Ministry and the Pastor with Mental Illness, which included an excerpt from Delight in Disorder and an interview with author Tony Roberts on his experience as a pastor living with bipolar disorder. In the next few weeks, I plan to share two more interviews on mental health in the workplace, and today…

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…

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,…

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…