Gloom, Despair, and Agony on Pastors

Ministry can be a tough, lonely, profession. This is no surprise, but what has been alarming is the amount of pastors who are struggling with depression and related issues as a result of their jobs. According to an American Baptist Press article, the rising number of church scandals, financial pressures, and aging congregations are causing pastors more stress than normal. This morning, Todd and Matt discuss the article, the pressures that pastors face, and talk a little bit about how to prevent depression and stress related issues. We’d love to hear your experiences, let us know: How have YOU...
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Taking the sting out of change

Pete Wilson has some great advice for helping take the sting out of change: 1) Always tie change to vision. If you can’t do this you must question why you’re making the change in the first place. 2) Attempt to invite people as early as possible into the process. The more input they have on the decision, the more likely they are to readily accept it. 3) Paint a clear picture for why the change is necessary. If you can’t, then maybe it’s not. Link How do YOU best communicate change?  And when has the lack of communication of change bit you in the butt? Leave a...
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Church to Former Pastors: Sorry We Treated You Like Trash

If you’ve been a pastor for more than ten minutes, you have heard of churches that churn through pastors and staff. For one reason or another, the church can not keep people for more than a couple of years before they are looking to go somewhere else. Sometimes it is the pastor’s fault, other times it is a stiff necked congregation, whichever it is, it is depressing… and significantly lessens a church’s spiritual impact. Earlier this week we came across the story of a church in Indiana that recently brought back a series of former pastors for a service of corporate...
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Should you stack your leadership team and board with your bffs?

Charles Stone asks a great question in a post at his blog today.  He asks, ‘should you stack your leadership team with your best friends’? I’ve seen churches where best friends, college room mates, brothers and family members, etc. made up the board. And I’ve seen churches where the boards actually despised one another. Is either of these scenarios a good thing? QUESTION:  How good of friends are you with your board members? Are there lines that you don’t cross with them? Do you get together with them individually for lunch?  Go on vacations together? Or do you keep it...
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How same-sex marriage came to be

Michael J. Klarman writes in Harvard magazine: FIFTY YEARS AGO, every state criminalized homosexual sex, and even the American Civil Liberties Union did not object. The federal government would not hire people who were openly gay or permit them to serve in the military. Police routinely raided gay bars. Only a handful of gay-rights organizations existed, and their membership was sparse. Most Americans would have considered the idea of same-sex marriage facetious. Today, opinion polls consistently show a majority of Americans endorsing such marriages; among those aged 18 to 29, support is as high as 70...
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Monday Dilemma: Filing a police complaint on a church member

OK… how would you deal with this scenario (as reported by Associated Baptist Press): A Southern Baptist megachurch reportedly filed a police report on a church member who raised questions about news stories alleging that nearly 25 years ago leaders of the congregation failed to alert authorities about credible accusations of child molestation by a staff member. Chris Tynes, a software engineer and member of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, for more than a decade, says he spoke with a detective about a complaint labeling him a “suspicious person, possibly violent” after he was...
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Time, urgency, and the future

Seth Godin writes: There’s never enough time to be as patient as we need to be. Not enough slack to focus on the long-term, too much urgency in the now to take the time and to plan ahead. That urgent sign post just ahead demands all of our intention (and attention), and we decide to invest in, “down the road,” down the road. Those are great words to just sit and ponder for a Monday morning. But wait… there’s more: It’s not only more urgent, but it’s easier to run to the urgent meeting than it is to sit down with a colleague and figure out the truth of what...
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7 Signs You Are Primed for a Fall

A couple years ago Jim Sheppard told a group of church planters at Exponential that the quickest way to take down a church is for the pastor to have a moral failure. The truth is, a pastor’s falling not only significantly hurts the church, but it impacts the congregation in ways that we will never fully understand. This is why it is so important for pastors to not only be on guard, but know the signs that they are heading down a bad road. Chuck Lawless recently shared his list of warning signs on Thom Ranier’s blog: Being overconfident Suffering emotional and physical fatigue Failing to...
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Things we’ll never say…

Sometimes what’s not said is more important than what is said. And there are things you’ll never say, either. I’m not a gambling man, but I’d put good money on the line that you’ll never say any of these things. And if you find yourself saying them, stop it. CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH VIDEO (Length:  4 min 56 sec) Subscribe to MinistryBriefing on YouTube What do YOU think?  Leave a text or video comment...
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Five things leaders don’t talk about at parties

As leaders, we aren’t always honest about how we are feeling. It’s almost as if there’s an unwritten rule that we have to hide our true emotions because…if people knew what we were really feeling…they may not respect us, they may not follow us…and…just being candid…they may not even like us. (Which to some leaders is the biggest fear.) I’ve learned through working with dozens of pastors and leaders the last few years that, if we are not careful, leadership can become a game we play. One leader tries to impress another leader and all leaders, at one...
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