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A Conductor of Community
Gail Song Bantum turned a love of music into a life of ministry.
This catalytic event rocked her world, as anyone who's walked through the ebbs and flows of grief and loss can understand. “It's amazing to me how our
Where Have All the Lamenters Gone?
No one laments more than God, so why do we as leaders feel pressure to keep a happy face?
We have sung the happy songs in church, prayed the happy prayers, and told ourselves to always be thankful, at the expense of silencing the grief left unresolved in our hearts.
5 Tips for Staying in Leadership in Trying Times
Lessons on leading through suffering from the life of Amanda Berry Smith
disappointments, especially as leaders. Despite that, we cannot abandon our calling because of grief, disappointment, discouragement, or bad health. If you are
3 Questions to Ask a Counselor Before You Get Started
How to discern if he or she is the right person to counsel you
hand. These conversations are holy grounds of hospitality, a chance to meet a fellow image bearer in his or her time of need, distress, grief, or frustration.
Moving Forward After a Difficult Week
Unity may indeed be needed after the election, but it’s okay to grieve first.
The shocking election results have created much conversation in Christian circles, especially among women leaders. Some are feeling grief, shock, and even fear.
How Churches Can Partner with Outside Counselors
It’s about supplementing, not replacing, pastoral care.
My relationships with churches begin in a variety of ways. Sometimes a partnership is born when one of my clients refers someone from a different church to meet with me.
Funeral for a Stranger
What to do—and what to avoid—when eulogizing someone you never met.
But in moments of grief, when families are walking through a sudden loss, people long for a minister—someone called and trained to be present with them in their pain, to help them
7 Keys to a Smooth Church Transition
How to make major changes without alienating your congregation.
effort. Remember, individuals experiencing transition will go through an emotional process, from loss and grief, to acceptance and commitment. These
Preaching in the Midst of Tragedy
In four years of pastoral ministry, I’ve had to preach through four national tragedies.
Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut, shooting and killing 20 first-graders and 6 adults—robbing them of their lives and making Christmas a time of mourning and grief for 26
The Cost of Caring
How to avoid compassion fatigue as you care for others
empathy. Compassion and empathy go beyond offering condolences, advice, or rescue. They're about joining a person in grief, injustice, and loss. They
Ministry Shouldn’t Hurt
What to do when the church starts acting like an abusive boyfriend
I've heard from a woman who was trapped in her office as the senior minister yelled at her until she was nearly faint with fear, pain, and grief. Tales of disrespect.
Where Were You When It Happened?
Helping when mass tragedy strikes your congregation
Is your congregation prepared to navigate widespread grief or wipe tears during multiple funerals? And do you have a plan if that tragedy garners national attention and media interest?
Why We Fail the Grieving
Comforting bereaved people takes more than good intentions.
I learned I had to hold the hope of eternal life (the unseen real) and sadness about leaving this life (grief) in tension. For years she bore the burden of not expressing her grief.
Healing—and Leading—After Tragedy, Part Two
Recovering from trauma is possible, necessary, and sometimes very hard.
I made it through the funeral in a fog and then took several weeks off. I felt burdened by the teenage grief I had witnessed, and a sense of responsibility toward the young people.
Maybe this curse is also a blessing
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
Leaving Your Church the Right Way
The application and hiring process is awkward—so awkward—when you love your current congregation.
mess. For one thing, you will feel grief. In my case, I loved my current congregation. long. As this process became more and more real, I could already feel grief.
Finding Communal Joy in Lament
Let’s sing the Lord’s song in a strange and troubled land
seem epic? Avoidance isn't the answer. I wonder how to lead us in worship that somehow makes room for the doubt, grief, and confusion we all feel. I cue
The Loving-Kindness of Covenant Membership
Despite the risk of pastoral misuse, churches need a model for intentional soul-care.
joined. Sitting with him during a membership interview I got to hear his pain, see his grief, and better understand the difficult journey ahead of him. Whenever