“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.
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.”
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.”
As I look back over the year, I am grateful for everyone who has visited When You Work for the Church–for those who have left comments, contacted me, shared articles, made suggestions, vented frustrations, sought counsel, found support, drawn encouragement, offered support, or quietly read along. Thank you!
Leaders have to know who they are. . . . When everything else crumbles and when you are in situations of disillusionment, when plans haven’t worked out, when colleagues have disappointed you, there’ll come those times when you say, “Why am I doing this?” At that point, what is needed is a deep and abiding sense of God’s call.
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 share with one another as part of the body of Christ. We are not only employer and employee to one another, but brothers and sisters in the body of Christ.
One way we can live that out is by praying for one another.