Church Life

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Six Tips for Taking Center Stage

Make a smooth transition from associate to lead pastor.
Six Tips for Taking Center Stage
Image: iStock

With the last child in college, I dreamed of spontaneous weekend getaways with my husband. I planned out more hours for writing. I suddenly had a clean house all the time. It was my time. I could have nice things.

Then our lead pastor left for another position, and I (the associate) knew God was calling me to step into that role. I tried to explain to him that this transition ...

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Boundaries for Part-Time Ministry

9 steps to set healthy limits
Boundaries for Part-Time Ministry
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When I meet or have the opportunity to coach people with part-time jobs in ministry, I often ask how many hours they work each week and how many they’re paid for. Almost everyone responds with a chuckle. Many have given up on trying to do the job in the hours they were hired for. The whole idea is almost a joke.

But what’s not funny is the effect this discrepancy ...

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Overlooked: When Women Are Passed Over for Leadership

Research suggests a reason for this phenomenon beyond the glass ceiling.
Overlooked: When Women Are Passed Over for Leadership
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In a recent article for the Harvard Business Review, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, CEO of Hogan Assessment Systems and professor of business psychology, looks beyond the familiar theories for why there are not more women in management positions (e.g., lack of capability, lack of interest, and the ubiquitous glass ceiling) in hopes of finding something more essential. His conclusion ...

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Making Space for Women Leaders in the Church

The day my bubble burst about women in ministry.
Making Space for Women Leaders in the Church
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Being a woman in ministry has its perks—I take particular delight in surprising people. “Wait, you’re a minister?” they ask. “But you’re so [insert the quality that busted their expectations]!”

I’m an ordained Presbyterian minister, and I come from a tradition and a family where this is relatively unremarkable. Both of my parents ...

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Please Don’t Make Me Feel Used

Crossing the line between friendship and ministry
Please Don’t Make Me Feel Used
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“I don’t know if you’ll be able to help me with this, Cara,” Amalia* said in a voicemail, “But I’d love your insight on something.” There was a pause. Then she asked me to call her back.

I was so grateful when we finally connected. An acquaintance had reached out to her to get to know her better, asking to hang out. Amalia, who is a ...

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Did I Hear God Right?

Just because you feel like a failure doesn’t mean you weren’t called by God.
Did I Hear God Right?
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I first stepped on African soil nine years ago. I traveled to Ghana, West Africa, for a short-term mission trip, and my heart was changed forever. After my amazing experience, I longed to be a full-time missionary. When the timing seemed right, I left my career, sold my car, gave away most of my possessions, and moved to Ghana. I loved every second of being a missionary, I ...

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Moving Forward After a Difficult Week

Unity may indeed be needed after the election, but it’s okay to grieve first.
Moving Forward After a Difficult Week
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The shocking election results have created much conversation in Christian circles, especially among women leaders. Some are feeling grief, shock, and even fear. Moving forward in a healthy way requires that we first allow ourselves to experience those emotions, sitting with them even when it’s uncomfortable. In this difficult week, we turned to women leaders to share ...

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Rise Above the Double Standard

Women leaders are forced to find an impossible golden mean between too much and not enough.
Rise Above the Double Standard
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In a previous ministry, I had a fairly standard and polite disagreement over email with a coworker. It wasn’t heated or contentious, just a discussion about how to use a Greek word. I copied the others from our earlier meeting to keep them in the loop.

“Tough emails, huh?” one observed hours later.

“Which ones?”

“The ones during your catfight ...

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Bring Your Full Self to the Table

When we allow God to use our full identity, amazing ministry can follow.
Bring Your Full Self to the Table
Image: Nate Meeds

Do you ever find yourself wondering how you ended up in full-time ministry—but can’t imagine yourself doing anything else? Have you ever looked back at the threads of your life and marveled at the seamlessness of God’s handiwork and precision, time and time again?

These questions are at the heart of Insil Kang’s story. A 30-something Korean-American ...

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Overcoming Gender Bias

Melinda Gates on how to be a successful woman leader
Overcoming Gender Bias
Image: Courtesy of the Gates Foundation

I did something the other day that I immediately regretted. Worse, it was in front of my 2-year-old daughter. I had come down with a nasty head cold that turned into a nasty chest cold, and my daughter, who already shows an incredible amount of empathy, looked at me with concerned eyes as I coughed yet again. I didn’t want her to be worried, so I did what any good parent ...

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