Tag Archives: ministry

Starting well. Observations on establishing ministry expectations

I think one of the most difficult things about full-time ministry is establishing and maintaining realistic ministry expectations. I think there are two primary reasons for this: First, few really no what a ministry job entails. I’ve been asked more … Continue reading

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By God’s mercies: secured by the resurrection

I often tell church leaders that a typical response in leadership to anxiety is to enact greater measures of control. Whatever short term gains are made through these measures, they often result in negative long-term consequences. Instead, and perhaps counter-intuitively, … Continue reading

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Why your church should pay for your minister’s education

In recruiting students for our master’s program, the number one reason students give for not pursuing graduate ministry training is that they don’t want to rack up more debt. What they’re telling me is that they are still paying on … Continue reading

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Three Smooth Stones: Am I Making Ministry too Complex?

So, I’ve had an imaginary dialogue partner as I’ve written the last three posts on action-reflection-articulation, managing polarities, and myth and parable. And this imaginary partner says, “Hey, smarty pants. You don’t have to know any of these things to … Continue reading

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Three Smooth Stones: Action-Reflection-Articulation

I worked for six years with Bill Hunt, who was our youth minister at the East County Church of Christ. Bill had studied with David Wray at ACU, one of the best churchmen I know, and had learned from him … Continue reading

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Three Smooth Stones for Ministry

Ministry is not a science, at least not the way I think about it. As my friends, Ryan and Jess Woods, put it. Ministry is about the two most unpredictable forces in the world–the Spirit of God and human beings. … Continue reading

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Learning Without Cynicism

I’ve seen it and experienced it myself. Advanced theological training often leaves students and future ministers cynical. I think there are several reasons for this. First, seminary training tends to be deconstructive. There’s almost no way around this to some … Continue reading

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Coffee Shop Church-Talk: “Church-world” problems

I have a new favorite coffee shop. It’s in downtown Rochester. They roast their own beans. They slow “pour” every cup of coffee through a filter. Their cappuccinos are a work of art with the little hearts drawn in the … Continue reading

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Small Groups: The promise of heaven, the perils of hell (or at least purgatory)

I know I should like the idea of small groups, but my experience has left me less than enthusiastic. I should like the idea, because fundamentally Christianity is a communal reality. The God who exists in community creates for community. … Continue reading

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The Divine is in the Details: Why are congregations bad at processes

Here’s my assumption. Congregations stink at processes. They stink two ways. Most don’t have processes they dearly need. And the processes they do have do not embody adequately theological beliefs or commitments. I’ve got some pretty big church horror stories, … Continue reading

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