Pastor of Innovation

Innovation

When I was a seminary student, it was understood that the vast majority of students would go on to pastoral ministry in a parish setting.  Most of these individuals would spend all of their years in ministry as solo pastors serving smaller congregations.  In recent years, the expectations have shifted significantly.  Only about half of all recent seminary graduates enter parish ministry.  For those who do enter this form of ministry, increasing numbers serve in large, mega, and/or multi-site Read More …

Pastoral Stressors

Pastoral Ministry Pressure

Bill Reichart, creator of Ministry Best Practices, recently shared an infographic about the pressures of pastoral ministry.  The visual is based on data in Pastors at Greater Risk by H. B. London, Jr. and Neil B. Wiseman.   So What? Pastoral ministry is a broad category of ordained ministers with varying responsibilities.  Clergy, regardless of the amount or type of higher education they have received, must be mindful of and respond to the pressures associated with their Read More …

Youth Group Memories

Jessica Misener

Jessica Misener recently shared 33 ways you may know you were a part of a youth group during your teen years, including You were so excited your crush was going to the lock-in; You went on a mission trip to Mexico, Guatemala, Haiti, Ghana, Nicaragua, Uganda, or Venezuela; Your parents bought you a purity ring; You prayed at school during "see you at the pole;" and All the concerts you went to gave you the opportunity to sponsor a kid. So What? I was never very involved in a Read More …

Pastoral Regrets

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Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, recently asked more than twenty pastors who had been in ministry for at least 25 years a single question: “What regrets do you have about the years you have served as a pastor?” The top seven answers follow: Lack of practical training for local church ministry Overly concerned about critics Failure to exercise faith Not enough time with family Failure to understand basic business and finance issues Failure to share Read More …

Self-Appraisal Statement

Greg at NUCC

My understanding of who I am is shaped more by following the way of Jesus than any other factor.  I strive to live the love of neighbor Jesus taught by embodying an ever-widening inclusiveness of the circle of those I count as neighbor.  My academic preparation for Christian ministry in schools affiliated with three traditions, varied roles in parish ministry in congregations affiliated with four additional denominations, and interactions with those in the wider family of faith through a variety Read More …

Statement on Ministry

UCC Logo

Tiger population has declined by 90% over the last 50 years; those involved in creating a brighter future for tigers understand that extinction will be reality if significant changes are not implemented soon.  The role of religion in America has changed dramatically and the size of mainline/progressive Protestantism has declined dramatically over the last 50 years; those involved in leading United Church of Christ communities today must be open to innovation and experimentation in order to Read More …

Facebook, Retirees, and Church

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Robert Saler, Research Fellow and administrator with the Center for Pastoral Excellence at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, recently blogged about how his experience as a pastor of a congregation comprised primarily of retirees challenged his assumptions about their use of social media.  As a younger pastor, he entered the parish assuming that leveraging Facebook as a part of the congregation's ministry would require heavy lifting by young adults.  In his experience, those over Read More …

Ministry Job Musts

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Adam McLane, a Partner at The Youth Cartel and Principal at McLane Creative, recently blogged about two things  youth ministers needs to consider in order to retain their current employment: metrics/measurables and donor relations.  Speaking bluntly he suggests that by managing these two areas well one can eliminate "90% of the reasons my friends have gotten fired." So What? Like any type of employment, ministry positions involve (or, at least should involve) periodic evaluation.  The Read More …

Review of Viral

len sweet

Meet the Author Leonard Sweet is the E. Stanley Jones professor of evangelism at Drew University and visiting distinguished professor of Evangelism at George Fox University, was voted one of the 50 Most Influential Christians in America, and continues to write and speak prophetically about the church.  An ordained United Methodist pastor, Sweet has authored over 20 books and 600 articles, and is perhaps best known for his forward thinking ideas about the church.  For more information, check Read More …

Fashion Friday

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Since I lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area for many years, I am no stranger to the strangeness of megachurch pastor Ed Young.  Earlier this year, I even mentioned his one-of-a-kind "bed-in" here on sowhatfaith.com.  Given what I know of him, I am convinced Young is the ideal poster boy for the "bigger is better" and/or "flashier is more fun" model of church.  Given such, perhaps one of his latest ventures will equip a new generation of pastors to be more fashion Read More …