The advanced training every pastor needs

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I’ve just been on a training course for three days up in Manchester. It’s quite a bit of a sacrifice for a proud Yorkshireman to be that side of the Pennines but also to be spending time away from home. The course was to do with providing coaching for church planters. So, on the one… Continue reading The advanced training every pastor needs

Why do we struggle to talk about pastors and depression?

A few years back I was asked to cover a couple of sessions for a ministry training course. One of the sessions was on “failure.” The request came with a couple of those expected awkward jokes along the lines of “we aren’t picking you for any specific reason.” Indeed, at the time, arguably I’d not… Continue reading Why do we struggle to talk about pastors and depression?

Abuse, bullying and slander – a war of attrition

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When it comes to concerns about abuse and bullying I think we can identify the following types of context Clear examples of coercive, cruel and manipulative behaviour Clear examples of false example One off but significant failures The reality that all of us are finite and fallen and consistently get things wrong in terms of… Continue reading Abuse, bullying and slander – a war of attrition

Generous Righteousness: The one who lavishes grace on us

The story of Ruth is also of course the story of Boaz and what an incredible story it is.  Boaz is the land owner who sees a foreign widow gleaning in his field and when he finds out who she is insists that she is protected and well treated. Of course, Boaz at one level… Continue reading Generous Righteousness: The one who lavishes grace on us

Our responsibility when there are accusations of abuse and bullying

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Today I’m attending an online conference organised by Church As Refuge.  The organisers want to encourage pastors and church leaders to think about how we make churches safe and welcoming refuges for victims of abuse. However, the context is also that sadly we have seen too many cases of abuse within the church. We’ve seen… Continue reading Our responsibility when there are accusations of abuse and bullying

Trauma, grief and response to abuse

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Over the past few years, I’ve written and spoken quite a bit about the problem of abusive cultures particularly in the context of church life. First of all, my concern is to see us doing better in letting what we believe affect how we live so that doctrines of grace lead to cultures of grace.… Continue reading Trauma, grief and response to abuse

Church Discipline and Church abuse

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There’s been some recent discussion on social media about the use of church discipline and whether or not it can be harmful and lead to examples of abuse.  The discussion was prompted by this article by Steve Kneale which was then shared by John Stevens – you can read the thread below John’s tweet to… Continue reading Church Discipline and Church abuse

Fathers and mothers – implications of family models for the church

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In my posts about church culture and in my recent article about complementarianism, I’ve argued that we need to seek a church culture that functions more like a family and less like a club, institution or business. In that context, I want to suggest that elders in the church function a bit like the fathers… Continue reading Fathers and mothers – implications of family models for the church

Changing our culture – the relationship between church leaders and church members

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In my previous post, I talked about how to reform church culture towards a grace culture by focusing on our relationship towards one another as characterised by humility.   Today, I want to talk about how leaders and congregations should relate to each other. Here are two important scriptures on the subject.  First of all, we… Continue reading Changing our culture – the relationship between church leaders and church members