I’m not one who has any natural inclination to vulnerability, but the suggestions I read that clergy vulnerability should be exercised in the pulpit of all places really make me cringe. I’ve asked Carol Howard Merritt for her thoughts on vulnerability as an element of clergy self-care.
Born Again Again
Carol Howard Merritt on reclaiming faith
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Sixteen years ago, I kept a journal of my first year in ministry. At the end, I remember pasting an illustration of a man who was white and naked, and was being pulled apart by different hands. It was almost as if he were on a medieval torture rack, except fingers stretched him. The drawing, I felt, perfectly illustrated my first year as a pastor.
Terra Pennington felt like walking away from her job. She was planting a church and feeling so burnt out that she didn’t know what to do. So she started counting down until UNCO.
We have a culture of nice that allows bullies to flourish. I have watched as this culture allowed certain people to take over a church. Then the group placates that person, and even asks the person who stands up to the bully to sit down, in order to maintain peace. This dynamic can and does kill churches.