Church Life

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9 Reasons to Be Thankful for Moms in Ministry

The awkward, embarrassing, and hilarious truth about balancing motherhood and ministry.
9 Reasons to Be Thankful for Moms in Ministry
Image: iStock

When I think about mothers in ministry, I’m impressed by their gumption. One young mom I know leads worship at her church while her newborn daughter sleeps on her chest in a baby wrap. Another mom I know has her elementary-aged son tag along to her community service events, teaching him how to love his neighbors through practical works. Even I’ve learned the art ...

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8 Signs You Need to Say “No” More Often

From humorous to too-close-to-home
8 Signs You Need to Say “No” More Often
Image: iStock

Life comes at us fast. We want to be effective in our ministries, but sometimes helping and leading morphs into a mania of doing that piles so much on us that we forget who we are, and how we are called to live differently. As women, we put pressure on ourselves to succeed, to live faster and faster until the rat race swallows us up. And as we get sucked into doing more, the ...

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Working with a Team Means Better Care

Pooling expertise, wisdom, resources, and networks leads to better ministry.
Working with a Team Means Better Care
Image: iStock

"It's weird." These were not the words I wanted to hear from my son's pediatrician.

For weeks the good doctor had been trying to diagnose what was going on with my son. Lab tests, examinations, ultrasounds; my five-year-old had been given the full work-up. Now, as I sat on the phone in the corner of the gym I took notes on scrap paper, the doctor relayed his ...

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Feeling Anonymous in Ministry

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

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.” That’s right. Just drop the “i” and call me “Dor.” I ...

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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. Still, she rises, over and over again.

I suppose some people are like this. When faced with the seemingly ...

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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 no actual agricultural experience. The closest is of the gardening variety and pet-sitting. I feel ...

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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 along the way we lost all of our laments. We traded in our sorrow and forgot we will be sorrowful ...

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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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