Pastoral Stressors

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 …

Pastoral MBA

While most Protestant denominations either require or strongly recommend those preparing for ministry as pastor earn a seminary degree (normally the Master of Divinity) few groups have established protocols requiring that academic preparation include significant training in business or organizational leadership.  Since most congregations are small in size (approximately two-thirds have fewer than 200 members), pastors are often tasked with the daily oversight of the daily operations of the Read More …

Creative Pastoral Search

A few days ago The Telegraph ran a story about a church in Essex "who have been without a vicar for 16 months have taken to YouTube to advertise for a replacement." Their creative effort is worth 3 minutes of your time. So What? Searching for a new pastor / priest / vicar / spiritual leader is a challenging undertaking for any congregation / parish.  While denominational churches must follow basic denominational protocols, all congregations can include creative expressions as a part of Read More …

Fashion Friday

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 …

Pastor, Bishop, or King?

Eddie Long has served as pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church near Atlanta, GA since 1987.  A few months ago he took a leave of absence after his wife filed for divorce and former members (all male) of his congregation accused him of sexual abuse.   Bishop Long, as he is called now by his parishioners, is now back to shepherding his flock.  Last Sunday he returned to the spotlight again when a guest speaker, Ralph Messer, proclaimed Eddie Long a "king" in an elaborate, eclectic and Read More …

Imams, Pastors & Rabbis – Holy Compensation

During the month of January, I read several articles outlining the differing average pay for clergy in the United States, including Brian Palmer's very direct approach: "What Type of Clergy get the Highest Salary".  He lists the following average compensation: Rabbis - $140,000 Pastors - $40,000 Imams - $30,000 Other research suggests these numbers are most accurate: Rabbis - $80,000 Protestant Pastors - $40,000 Imams - $30,000 Roman Catholic Priests - $25,000 So Read More …

Review of Religion Gone Astray

Meet the Authors Pastor  Don Mackenzie, Rabbi Ted Falcon, and Imam Jamal Rahman have been working together on interfaith matters since shortly after September 11, 2001.  A few years ago the trio together wrote their first book: Getting to the Heart of Interfaith: The Eye-Opening, Hope-Filled Friendship of a Pastor, a Rabbi & a Sheikh (2009).  In response to the many common questions they receive at their speaking engagements, they have now written a second book: Religion Gone Astray: What Read More …

Pastors & Forced Termination

Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, recently shared some observations on church staffing trends in a piece for the Christian Post.  One of the six trends he discussed is the percentage of senior pastors who lose their jobs each year because of forced terminations.  Over the last seven years, approximately 1.5% of senior pastors have been subject to forced termination each year. So What? Basic math indicates that over that 7 year period, 10.5% of senior pastors Read More …

Being Prepared for Church Administration

Yesterday I reviewed Robert Welch's Church Administration: Creating Efficiency for Effective Ministry, 2nd edition (2011).  In that post, I noted that his research shows most pastors graduate from seminary with little or no preparation for church administration even though the average pastor spends around half of her or his time on such tasks. When I entered seminary, I already had a solid educational and experiential background in administration outside of the for-profit sector.  I had Read More …

Your Pastor Wants to Tell You

W. Allen Thomason recently wrote a post about things your pastor wants to tell you, but lacks the courage to say.  He writes, "I know that every pastor has things on his or her heart that he or she would love to tell the church, but they never get said for fear that it might cost them their job in the long run."  The following items are among those on Thomason's list: The Pastor is not responsible to do all your “Christian Stuff” for you You are not as loving as you think you are  This Read More …