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Pastoral Leadership

Because most churches avoid politics, we come off as irrelevant or silent about the most pressing issues. Perhaps we should take a cue from late-night talk-show hosts. A humorous monologue can open the door to serious talk. […] Read More

What’s the goal of preaching a sermon? While every sermon needs to have good content, sermons can have a variety of purposes, including that people may do or experience or believe something, rather than primarily “learn” something. […] Read More

Folks have different reasons for wanting to join a church: give them the love they deserve, be a place of support, find new friends, offer programs for their children. But one woman’s reason for joining nearly burned my gravy. […] Read More

Clergy are so busy ministering and offering hope to others, they quickly find themselves isolated and alone. Here are 10 ways your church can ensure the good mental health of your pastor. Make sure you minister to your minister. […] Read More

Many pastors lack the training and skills needed to counsel and advocate for victims. It’s why too many pastors tell wives to stay with abusive husbands, continue in leadership when they abuse others and shame women from the pulpit. […] Read More

Finding your voice as a preacher takes time. It can be more challenging for women who have fewer role models in the pulpit. How do you find your unique voice? Know yourself, play to your strength and preach the good news. […] Read More

My wife and I began rewatching the television show “Lost” about plane-crash survivors stranded on an island over the summer. When a few survivors hike to higher ground to call for help using the plane’s transceiver, they hear a French woman speaking on the radio and are overjoyed. Their hope fades when they realize it […] Read More

In the hyperdigital technocracy in which we live, innovation – the birthing of new products of the imagination – is the currency and pedigree of success. To be successful, one has to consistently stay in the competitive race for the top, germinate ideas that supposedly dazzle and demonstrate the ability to produce “cutting edge” products […] 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

Just as I was finishing my book “The Postmodern Parish: New Ministry for a New Era” for the Alban Institute, I received a new call to ministry. For the previous 23 years, I had served as a pastor in two congregations in California. My new call was to a church in Nashville. As I was […] Read More