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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.

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

Fire up the grill. Crank up the ice cream churn. Prepare for the fireworks show. Hum along to a little John Phillips Sousa. It’s the Fourth of July. July 4th is a time to give thanks for our unrivaled freedom, and a great time to highlight and celebrate our religious liberty. Religious liberty refers to […] Read More

Some things we want to remember, and some we want to forget. But what do we do when the things we want to forget are also the things we should remember? As I shared a eulogy recently at Barrancas National Cemetery at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, I remembered. As a jet flew over the […] Read More

Thirty seven years ago this past month I was called to my first church staff position at the age of 18. Thinking about those early beginnings has led me to reminisce about the peculiarity of my calling and my pastoral journey. Now, at age 55, I am a middle-aged pastor. My how time flies! Middle-aged […] Read More

I drove north on Pensacola, Florida’s Scenic Bluffs Highway, one of the most beautiful coastal drives in America. And yet, as the sunrise glistened over Escambia Bay, the picturesque Florida scenery was scarred by nature’s whim. Stately oaks were uprooted, townhomes were blown from their foundation, homes stood minus their roofs and windows, and neighbors […] Read More

Election years can be volatile, unpredictable and filled with heated political rhetoric. It is not unusual these days for prominent pastors and local clergy to join the fray of bombastic oratory. While I do not think pastors should be silent, I do think a pastor’s tone and message should be helpful, encouraging and nonpartisan. Especially […] Read More

It’s dark outside, and Monday seemed even darker than usual. And it should. It was the darkest day of the year. For those of us who live in the northern hemisphere, the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice, usually occurs on Dec. 21. The solstice, which literally means, “sun stood still,” officially marks […] Read More

Ministry in the 21st century is like growing potatoes on Mars. This brief comment, voiced by my friend Bill Wilson, director of the Center for Healthy Churches, summarized thoughts that had been simmering in my mind about the changes and challenges of pastoral ministry. I immediately knew that Bill and I had read the same […] Read More