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Author Barry Howard

Barry Howard serves as leadership coach / consultant with the Center for Healthy Churches. He served previously as an board member, and he lives in Pensacola, Florida.

Being a pastor is much more than being a preacher. In fact, many of the most influential pastors in my life have been average preachers, but extraordinary pastors. And many of the great conference speakers who have encouraged me with their insightful and entertaining perspectives wouldn’t last very long as pastor of a local church. […] Read More

People who attend church regularly often are bilingual, usually without realizing it. As a young child, I began noticing that folks who attend church regularly tend to use a “normal” vocabulary throughout the week. When they step foot on the church campus or attend a church function, they often resort to a specialized repertoire of […] Read More

There are some moments and memories that we never forget. One such memory is when I first met Bill Self in 1981 at a banquet on the campus of Samford University. I was energized by Bill’s after-dinner speech. He quickly became one of my favorite preachers, not just because he was a captivating and motivating […] Read More

The beginning of a new year is traditionally perceived as a season for clean slates and new beginnings. Depending on your perspective, you might consider the new year as a time to turn over a new leaf, to start that post-holiday diet, to begin that exercise regimen or to generally clean up your act and […] Read More

The quest for peace is universal, whether it be peace in our land or peace in our soul. As a nation, the U.S. is weary of terrorist threats, campus shootings, human trafficking, schoolyard bullying, workplace conflict, family fragmentation, political turmoil and heightened anxiety. We have a deep longing for peace. Weary of disputes, the prophet […] Read More

I inherited a few traditions early in my ministry that were common in southern rural churches. These included giving carnations to mothers on Mother’s Day, inviting members to walk forward to put their “birthday offering for the children’s home” in the little white church atop the upright piano, and asking veterans to stand and be […] Read More

A pastor may be deeply committed, extraordinarily faithful, highly educated and extremely hard working, but for a pastor to be effective and durable, a pastor must practice healthy self-care. Self-care includes developing and maintaining good physical, spiritual and mental health practices. These three areas of wellness are intertwined and inseparable. Yet, in my own life […] Read More

One of the most enriching and fatiguing things about church life these days is the vast diversity within most local congregations. During some recent days of self-reflection and ministry evaluation, I spent some time thinking about why I feel more fatigued these days than I did a few years ago. There are likely many contributing […] Read More

Donald John Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, Jan. 20. Regardless of who we voted for, it is imperative for people of faith to pray for our new president and for other local, state and national leaders. Our nation will be recovering for quite some time […] Read More

A unique item sits in First Baptist Pensacola’s sanctuary amid all of the Christmas decorations. The poinsettias are ablaze with holiday red, and the crèche is in the window for all to see. The Advent wreath is in place and we are on our countdown toward lighting the Christ Candle on Christmas Eve. Among the […] Read More