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A Leadership survey probes what's right, wrong, and fixable in church staff relationships.

A curious shift in the "shop talk" was noted recently among a group of pastors who get together each year for a retreat in California's beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains.

In the early years, stories typically began: "You won't believe what my senior pastor said after our rock concert last week!" One associate pastor reported he was up to his ears in parish work while the senior minister indulged his interest in stained glass.

"How can I say it?" he fumed. "His distinguishing characteristic is insensitivity. He called on one lady whose husband had just died-mainly to ask if he could have the man's stained-glass materials. He wants me to get out and 'bring in more pledges,' while all he talks about is his last trip to the great French cathedrals."

But as the years have ticked by, new laments are now being heard: "We just called an assistant pastor, and the first thing he did was criticize our covenant groups." Another tells of hiring a bright, young assistant-the daughter of a career youth worker-who ...

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