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Pastoral Ethics

Pastoral Ethics in Crisis Times

Some of us see ourselves as “good in a crisis.” Some of us don’t. For pastors, though, the real question is not, “How do you see yourself?” but rather, “How do your people experience you as a crisis leader?” Some of us see ourselves as “good in a crisis.” Some of us don’t. For pastors, […] Read More

As I entered one pastorate, the church’s chapel hadn’t been redecorated in nearly 40 years. It had fixed pews with dust-laden, deteriorating cushions, peeling green paint, poor lighting, a dilapidated organ, an old piano, an antiquated sound system and a carpet that had long since lost its original color. It was clear to me without […] Read More

Congregations mean well when they hire associate ministers. But often they don’t do well. Here are some tips for how to do it better: –Establish personnel policies. Often congregations hire their first associate to meet an immediate need. “We’ve got to have help with the youth!” Too often, though, they haven’t established an adequate structure […] Read More

“Did you hear what happened at First Church? They have a new pastor coming in, so all the staff has had to resign!” Once upon a time custom in many churches dictated that the staff served at the pleasure of the senior pastor. Most churches have come to believe such a policy is too extreme. […] Read More

Ethics for Associate Ministers

When the senior pastors gather around the water cooler, it’s a favorite topic. “Have you heard what my associate (music, education, youth, you-name-it) has done now?” Unfortunately, that question is often followed by a tale of woe. As more and more churches become multi-staff, they’re also developing multi-problems, many of which mirror the personnel issues […] Read More

Preaching Ethically

Most of us in the church want to assume that the preachers among us do so from Christian motives and by Christian methods. What we find instead is “it ain’t necessarily so!” Most of us in the church want to assume that the preachers among us do so from Christian motives and by Christian methods. […] Read More