Ministry Life

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How to Minister to People Who Don’t Like You

Eight tips to love the hard-to-love.
How to Minister to People Who Don’t Like You

I have always been committed to obey the call of God no matter what. I was committed when I was ordained and released to plant a church in a community that didn’t approve of women in ministry. I was committed when someone actually threatened my life if I followed through with the church plant. I was committed when Johnnie—my husband, my greatest supporter, and ...

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Religious Freedom Lessons from the Quakers

What a 17th-century woman leader taught me about fighting for freedom—for all
Religious Freedom Lessons from the Quakers

I’m not a Quaker, but the Quakers are a big part of my family history. My mother’s family came to America with William Penn, the Quaker who founded Pennsylvania. As a result, the Quakers loomed large in my imagination when I was growing up. As a young teenager I became interested in the abolitionist movement of the 1800s, and I was delighted to find that the Quakers ...

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Five Ways to Respond to Mansplaining

You’ve been invited to the table for a reason, and your team needs to hear what you have to say.
Five Ways to Respond to Mansplaining

You got invited to an important ministry team. You come prepared to your first meeting eager to engage and share your ideas. You’re thankful for a seat at the table and excited for the opportunity to serve. Despite your excitement and hope leading up to the meeting, however, you leave the meeting completely second-guessing yourself, wondering why you were even there. ...

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The Vulnerable Act of Public Speaking

Find your voice—and keep it.
The Vulnerable Act of Public Speaking

Voice is more than simply speaking; it engages the whole self—mind, body, spirit, your true self. Using another category, such as this one, helps us access elements of identity and authenticity in a different way and can become another set of practical strategies for going about living into your own sense of truth. How we understand voice can be lodged in four categories: ...

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How to Be a Spiritual Mother

We all have a responsibility to guide younger leaders.
How to Be a Spiritual Mother

When I was in my twenties, I thought life was effectively over at 30. Incidentally, I also thought time would move much more slowly than it does. When I was in my thirties I knew better, but I still dreaded 40. I looked ahead and saw a future with obvious signs of aging, aches and pains, cultural alienation, and my precious children leaving home—it all felt negative ...

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My Husband Isn’t Called to Ministry

My dreams of ministering together were dashed, but I got something better in return.
My Husband Isn’t Called to Ministry

I always thought I’d marry a man in ministry. Together, we’d be a kingdom powerhouse. We’d make people laugh, think, feel, and smile, all for the glory of God. Our unique pairing would be used to bring people closer to Christ.

Dreaming about who we’d be was a bit pompous on my part, but I had my reasons. From the time I was a young girl, I knew I’d ...

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Encourage More Women to Lead

Regardless of theology, we need to empower more women to use their gifts in the local church.
Encourage More Women to Lead

I’m not here to convince people to change their theological stance on the role of women in pastoral ministry. What I would like to ask everyone to consider, however, is:

How can I maximize the gifts and talents of women given the particular theological context of my church?

To encourage more women to lead (whether in the hospitality ministry, the women’s ministry, ...

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Ministry Misfit

Can a pastor be an introvert?
Ministry Misfit

I grew up in a church that didn’t support women in ministry. So when God started tugging my heart toward vocational ministry, it took me a long to time to understand what was going on. With no visible examples of women leading in the church, I had a difficult time picturing what church leadership could look like for me. Thankfully, in college and graduate school I was ...

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Ladies Who Lunch—with Men

Do your coworkers follow the Billy Graham Rule?
Ladies Who Lunch—with Men

Four months into a new ministry position (not in the church I currently serve), I reached out to my colleague. “Let’s grab lunch someday,” I suggested. Other staff seemed to come and go freely from meals and meetings, swapping ideas, covering ground together. I worked closely with this particular man, and we needed to forge a solid, professional relationship. ...

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The Truth About Sexism in the Church

And how to keep it from breaking you down.
The Truth About Sexism in the Church

The truth about sexism in the church needs to be heard, it needs to be told, and it needs to be called out. It should be devastating that you will experience sexism when it comes to your call to ministry. It should be devastating that the one institution on which you depend to be the most vocal about fighting sexism is the most resoundingly silent. It should be devastating ...

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