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.
Here's a brief email exchange about some technical issues on membership transfers between congregations and different denominations. I thought this might be helpful for elders, deacons, pastors, members because I think we deal with this at least ten times a year for people either transferring in or out. I think the two notes below are self-explanatory...
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.”
Grants, conferences and learning events are just some of the ways that Sustaining Pastoral Excellence supports and strengthens pastors and helps to build vital congregations.
The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship has assembled a website with a great variety of helps, hints, resources for worship and Christian community. One of the most practical items on CICW site is the "Feature Stories".
As we dig into “conviction,” the second leadership trait that congregations can develop, we switch to a new image—a ship on a voyage. Here’s the story.
May 13 was the least known, possibly most important Christian holiday—Ascension Day. It should kick off big-time Christian parties, like those after the Prime Minister is sworn in–but bigger. It remembers when Jesus—Immanuel, God-with-Us—returned to heaven after his crucifixion and resurrection. From there he rules the universe at God the Father’s right hand.
For building improvements, there are two foundations of which we are aware that will give accessibility grants to churches in specific regions.
The Leadership Paper defines “character” as that which generates trust on the part of followers. As you read this article, ask yourself, “How does that definition of character affect the following building project and my own work?”
If you don’t have a written policy regarding how expenses are reimbursed, you will have a hard time enforcing accountability for reimbursable expenses.
For a landscaper, the 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.
I'm curious what others do as far as letting people accept, or encouraging, gratuities, and also what types of workers in the church are paid and what is done on a volunteer basis.
Thomas is Christianity’s first famous doubter. Odd, since his doubt surfaced on the very day Christians celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. A week later doubt disappeared. What can dispel doubt today? Start by paying attention to how the Gospel of John is built. Its doubters are boxed in by stories of faith.
What’s to debate? Isn’t it a given that congregations be healthy? The issues are complex and crucial. At stake is not merely survival of local congregations, but also the direction of the CRCNA in the 21st century.
Since ministers are not allowed to deduct church related business expenses from their local church employment as self-employed workers, often ministers and other church employees pay unnecessary income taxes on legitimate business expenses.
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.”
I don't know how many on-line things you subscribe to, but at last count it's at least 30--things like catalogues from bike shops, canoe and paddling outfits, magazines, bargain notices from vendors and on and on.
There are all sorts of pastoral issues involved in this fact. For example, since I have only one email address (honest!) all personal and work stuff comes to the same address. Thus the temptation into which I lead myself: "Read and process personal stuff on church time."
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.