For a landscaper, growing grass is proof of a job well done. But how does one define success in ministry? To sustain pastoral excellence, we need a definition of pastoral ministry success that is viable.
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In an ecosystem, each plant and creature relies on the functioning of the other to thrive. So it is with church systems.
According to Statistics Canada, almost one-third of working Canadian adults perceive themselves as workaholics. Yes, workaholics put in more hours, but that is not what defines them.
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.
Here’s a riddle for you. What is surrounded on all sides, but still stands painfully alone? The answer: the clergy.
The City of Toronto ranks among one of the most multicultural cities in the world, with over 140 languages and dialects spoken there. “Diversity is our Strength” boasts Toronto’s motto, and its population mirrors that vision.
A frightfully realistic, hence necessary corollary to all axioms of leadership is this: Church leaders WILL trip, stumble and fall. Not all will do irreparable damage to themselves or others as they fall; sometimes no one but God notices. Regardless, the result is always disheartening.
Ministry is one of the most demanding professions in the North American environment. It is a profoundly satisfying task because pastors daily have opportunities to impact others for all eternity. Yet, in spite of its eternal implications, it is a wrenching and draining profession as well.
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.”
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.
Careful preparation for retirement brings major advantages for pastors and congregations both before and after the actual farewell event. Many denominations and pastors have studied the matter of retirement with care.