Feeling Anonymous in Ministry
The power of being seen, recognized, and named.

My name is Dori. But that’s not always the name I wanted. Long before Finding Nemo and Ellen Degeneres made my name popular, there were many names I wanted rather than Dori. For some unknown reason I went through a season in 1st grade where I signed all of my papers “Dor.” ...


A Conductor of Community
Gail Song Bantum turned a love of music into a life of ministry.
A Conductor of Community
Image: provided by Quest Church

She is a phoenix, rising up out of the ashes.

Try as I might, I can’t get this picture out of my mind. I close my eyes. I attempt to quiet my thoughts. Eventually, I turn to Google to expand upon the greater idea of life stemming from death, but still the phoenix appears. ...


Self-Control for the Sake of Ministry
What does it mean to say “no” to ourselves on behalf of those we serve and influence?
Self-Control for the Sake of Ministry
Image: iStock

This past week I was in an ordination workshop. The class was made up of people in the process of being recognized as set apart for the ministry of shepherding God’s flock. What this all means is still being worked out both for me and for my church. For the record, I have ...


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?
Where Have All the Lamenters Gone?
Image: iStock

Would King David be hired as your church’s worship pastor?

Would you share the pulpit with the weeping prophet Jeremiah?

How would the church staff respond to Nehemiah’s public display of sorrow during a staff meeting?

I don’t know how it happened to us, but somewhere ...


My Place in the Pulpit
Approaching that giant piece of furniture shook loose all my insecurities, doubts, and fears.
My Place in the Pulpit
Image: iStock

It was Saturday night, the night before I would give my first sermon, my first real sermon behind a real pulpit in front of a real congregation. Following the sermon, the congregation would vote, as dictated by our polity, on whether to hire me as a co-lead pastor alongside ...


The Problem with Being an Authentic Leader
The delicate balance of authenticity and confidentiality in leadership.
The Problem with Being an Authentic Leader
Image: iStock

Coco Chanel put it best: “Hard times arouse an instinctive desire for authenticity.” The political and marketing arenas have picked up on this need to be genuine. Entrepreneur Magazine exposed the trend of millennial women using the power of the purse to send a message, ...


Use Your Strength to Serve Others
How to gracefully embrace your role as the strongest person in the room
Use Your Strength to Serve Others
Image: iStock

There I was, halfway through a meeting, when I suddenly realized I had done it again. Without meaning to, I’d become the de facto leader of the group, and everyone was looking at me. I could see clearly that everyone realized I was now in charge. But they weren’t ...


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A Conductor of CommunityDiscover Your God-Given CallingSelf-Control for the Sake of MinistryDoes the Bible Really Say I Can’t Teach Men?