Approval

A little while back I wrote a little on the way that we can be tempted by three types of idol: approval, comfort and security.  Now one of the things about idols is that they tend to be parasitical on things that are genuine needs and in and of themselves, in context, within boundaries are… Continue reading Approval

New leaders-recommended reading

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I thought I’d share some quick suggestions for reading that I’d recommend to anyone just going into church leadership. So if you are new to church leadership I’d encourage you to pick these up. If you are not, then you might want to see if your pastor/elders have them and if not perhaps consider getting… Continue reading New leaders-recommended reading

Pastors and PTSD

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From time to time I write specifically about the impact of mental health issues on pastors and church leaders. I’ve recently returned to the subject again writing about depression here and here.  I wanted to follow up these articles by writing a little about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is described on the MIND… Continue reading Pastors and PTSD

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?

Discerning a calling (2) Why we need to look backwards

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Some of the questions you will want to ask when helping someone to discern a calling focus on what has happened in the past?  Can’t we just forget the past and look forward to the future? Well, there’s certainly a risk that we can refuse to consider people for ministry now because of what has… Continue reading Discerning a calling (2) Why we need to look backwards

Discerning a calling (1) A process for the local church

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The place where potential pastors, youth and children’s leaders and women’s workers are likely to be identified is in the local church and that’s exactly where it should be.  A healthy church wants to encourage members of the church family to use their gifts to serve the Gospel.  In some cases, this will mean considering… Continue reading Discerning a calling (1) A process for the local church

Your pastor has considered giving up

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That’s perhaps not the headline you wanted to read is it? However, this is the challenging reality. At some point your pastor/vicar/elders have thought  “I could just walk out the building after the service finishes, in fact, I could do it right now. I could shut the Bible, walk out and never come back here.”… Continue reading Your pastor has considered giving up

Throwing people under the bus

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In a recent article I mentioned the “Rise and Fall of Mars Hill” podcast.  The Christianity Today series tells the story of Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church, Seattle.  Driscoll became well known as a church planter and mega-church leader succeeding in an area regarded as hard to reach. He went on to head up… Continue reading Throwing people under the bus

Do you take the role of pastor/elder seriously enough?

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What exactly does it mean to be a pastor or an elder in a church?  First of all, you will notice that I am in effect using the words “pastor” and “elder” interchangeably because we are essentially talking about the same thing. An elder is someone who carries leadership authority within a family/clan/tribe linked to… Continue reading Do you take the role of pastor/elder seriously enough?

Do we need to test the ability of trainee pastors to write essays?

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From time to time I write about where I believe things need to change in terms of training people for pastoral ministry. I believe that if we are going to train more people for Gospel work then we need to look at different ways of going about the training. This does not mean that I’m… Continue reading Do we need to test the ability of trainee pastors to write essays?