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Lifelong Learning

Many a young pastor leaves the seminary eager to pursue a life in ministry. Why, then, do so many face debilitating stress after just a few years of service, while others flee the profession before middle age? 

Pastors
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Emotional Intelligence in Ministry—The Crux of the Matter

Daniel Goleman’s bestselling book Emotional Intelligence: Why It can Matter More than IQ billed itself as “the groundbreaking book that redefined what it means to be smart.” On his blog, Goleman admits that he was surprised when the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EI) spread like wildfire.

Pastors
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Life in the Fishbowl

While many pastors feel their profession has moved beyond the “glass house” phenomenon of an earlier era, pastors’ families cannot escape the reality that they still play a central—and highly—visible role in the church. 

Pastors
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Sabbatical: A Healthy Distance

The lyrics of this 90s-era Bette Midler hit, “From a Distance,” imply that eyeing a situation from afar offers a healthy change in perspective. Many pastors are discovering that, too. 

Pastors
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When the Pastor's Family Goes Without Shoes

Meeting together to discuss their work and home lives, the members of the peer group say they quickly came to realize that the health of a pastor’s marriage and family life is an important determinant for the health of ministry. 

Pastors
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Finding Spiritual Green Space

A group of pastors from New England is making the case for planning green space in our spiritual lives, too. “As cities carve out green spaces to break urban congestion, we need to help each other find green spaces in our busy lives.”

Pastors
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Spouses in Pastoral Ministry: Their Role

When the Christian Reformed Church North America was awarded a Lilly Endowment grant of nearly $2 million in September 2002, the funding provided the momentum for an initiative with the potential to transform local churches and their pastors through “Sustaining Pastoral Excellence.” 

Pastors
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Smaller Churches Measure Up Big

Do smaller churches measure up? “Often, size becomes a major diagnostic tool for churches,” says Rev. Paul Van Dyken, pastor of Grace Christian Reformed Church in Burke, Vermont. “People think that if you’re not big, you’re not healthy.”

Pastors
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Church Leadership: One Size Doesn't Fit All

Bomhof says he has learned that serving a larger congregation requires different skills than he relied upon in his smaller charges, and he’s intentionally sought out opportunities to hone those much-needed skills. He is not alone in that.

Pastors
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Small Churches Have Big Appeal

Do small churches suffer from inferiority complexes? Elzo Tenyenhuis, pastor of a small Christian Reformed church in Kincardine, Ontario, admits that small churches often struggle with issues of self-perception. 

Pastors
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The Cost of Not Caring for Your Pastor

A pastor’s care can be costly, and the expense is not salary-related. Many pastors simply pay too high a price to practice their profession. It’s a condition common among the helping professionals—sometimes referred to as the “cost of caring.” 

Pastors
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Rural Depopulation and the Church

Rural depopulation has had many repercussions, especially for government and others who strive to provide the same level of service with fewer local human and financial resources. The church faces similar challenges.

Pastors
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Teamwork and Healthy Pastoring

Today's churches offer more diverse programs than ever before, and church leaders must deal with increasingly complex issues. Pastors, too, are challenged by greater demands on their time and increasing stress levels. 

Pastors
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