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Author Barry Howard

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

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

The holiday season is here once again, and with the festivities come multiple invitations to give to worthwhile missional causes. Determining which ones to give to can be painstaking and time consuming. Because of the multiple opportunities and solicitations that come our way, it is important that we are generous and smart in our giving. […] Read More

A first-time visitor to our worship service a few years ago said to me abruptly, “I am looking for a church where the preacher preaches the Bible and doesn’t talk about theology and all of that kind of stuff.” I knew then I was in trouble because I don’t believe you can preach the Bible […] Read More

I flew to North Carolina a few days ago to participate in a pastor peer group meeting. I arrived early at the airport, checked in and then began the security screening process. The Transportation Security Administration officer instructed us to place all personal items on the conveyor belt, to place laptops in a bin by […] Read More

There are a lot of adjectives that can be used to describe churches: Vibrant churches, mega churches, healthy churches, dying churches, transitioning churches and emerging churches, just to name a few. While some may propose that vitality and relevance only exist in new church starts, there are many churches typically considered to be traditional churches, […] Read More