Ministry Life

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Can We Really Be Like Christ?

Rethinking the incarnational ministry model
Can We Really Be Like Christ?

Jesus is the example par excellence of obedience and self-sacrifice held up to the church, but Paul also uses his experiences, and those of his coworker Timothy and his friend Epaphroditus, as examples of selfless service. In recent years, an attempt to connect the Christ hymn with the modern church’s responsibility toward missions has given rise to a movement known ...

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Malestrom: Manhood Swept into the Currents of a Changing World

A Book Review
Malestrom: Manhood Swept into the Currents of a Changing World
The book:

Malestrom: Manhood Swept into the Currents of a Changing World

By Carolyn Custis James

Published by Zondervan

Why I Picked Up This Book:

I attended the Missio Alliance National Conference, where men and women gathered to consider what it means to be #TrulyHuman. Author Carolyn Custis James introduced the book to that audience and shared her continued hope ...

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Missio Alliance Gathering 2015: Highlights and Reflections

A conference review
Missio Alliance Gathering 2015: Highlights and Reflections

This month, the Missio Alliance hosted its second national conference at the historic Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA. With the theme Being Truly Human: Re-imaging the Resurrectional Life, approximately 600 Christian leaders, pastors, advocates, scholars, and theologians gathered to contemplate the importance of living the resurrection in our daily lives ...

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When Church Leaders Mistreat You

It takes courage and strength to replace anger with love
When Church Leaders Mistreat You

The words mistreatment and church leader shouldn't be in the same sentence, but unfortunately sometimes they are. The fact is, many people on staff, as well as members of the church, are mistreated by their leaders.

My husband and I were mistreated by our pastor, and we witnessed his mistreatment of others. In a leadership meeting one evening the senior pastor embarrassingly ...

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Stilling the Storm

A book review
Stilling the Storm

“Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” the disciples asked Jesus, waking him, during a storm. Perhaps this question is one we’ve asked Jesus, too, during difficult times in our own congregation. Many of us have asked questions like these:

• Jesus, don’t you care if we drown in financial troubles since we didn’t meet our budget ...

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Premenstrual Ministry

Maybe this curse is also a blessing
Premenstrual Ministry

I was scrolling through headlines when the story caught my attention: yet another school shooting had resulted in yet another fatality. A young girl was dead at the hands of a classmate, her parents shattered by grief, her community forever changed. I felt undone. It was only 8:00 but I put myself to bed immediately, where I commenced with sobbing.

The next morning I ...

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Go Ahead and Grin—Church Is Hilarious

Ministry is a lot more fun if you laugh at just about everything.
Go Ahead and Grin—Church Is Hilarious

Somewhere along the line, I decided that it was better to laugh at all the craziness that goes on in churches instead of feel complete and total angst. This state of mind came about after our family’s visit to a friend’s first pastorate. We wrote down careful directions on how to get to his country church. He said there would be a welcome sign at a crossroads ...

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Can We Stop the Fall from Grace?

It’s unwise to believe we can fight temptation in our own power.
Can We Stop the Fall from Grace?

Three days after I read an article by a church leader who had fallen into sexual sin with someone in the church, my husband asked me to pray with him because he felt he was being tempted by women at his job. He said the attacks happened quite suddenly and wanted me to know what he was dealing with so I could stand in prayer with him.

My husband is on the board of trustees ...

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Tips for Preventing Suicide

Take action based on the level of risk
Tips for Preventing Suicide
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Unfortunately, there is no miraculous human intervention that resolves suicide risk. But there are specific actions you can take to prevent suicide, actions that become more extensive with increasing risk. Following are several ideas for pastoral care, which is different from mental health counseling, an important distinction that argues for referral to mental health services. ...

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3 Ways to Fight Back with Joy as You Lead

It’s a potent weapon for life’s battles
3 Ways to Fight Back with Joy as You Lead
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What begins as a gift soon becomes a grind.

Endless demands. Pressing deadlines. Unexpected interruptions.

The pressure to perform and produce can leave us feeling weary in the marrow of our being. The joy designed to grow into sweet plumpness soon shrivels. Smiles become forced. Sparkling eyes grow dim.

Those closest to us see the shift long before we recognize it ...

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