The most-read Tribal Church posts

December 28, 2014

Here are Carol Howard Merritt's most-read posts of the year:

1) Ten reasons why being a pastor is the best job ever. In the blog-o-sphere, pastors like to complain. It’s a good space for it. But I also love to remember just how good I've got it.

2) Lonely pastors. There’s no feeling quite as depressing as a line of connection being suddenly cut short. Ministers have this sensation a lot.

3) Pastors in poverty. Clergy have learned to give one another money—because sometimes we’re the only ones who can’t go to the church with a financial problem.

4) Why the PC(USA) can grow because of marriage equality. I’m hearing from some who say that with marriage equality, our decline will be greater than it has been in the past. What odd logic.

5) The Menlo Park difference. If you leave because you can’t handle gays and lesbians in leadership, then be as honest about it with the press as you were with the rest of the denomination. 

6) Why I hate "hipster Christians." I can’t imagine why people would think I speak for the hipsters. I serve traditional Presbyterian churches. I leave the house looking like Anne Taylor threw up on me.

7) What the retirement of Baby Boomers could mean for the church. The first wave of Boomers is in the midst of retiring, so what can we expect? How will this affect us?

8) Ordination overhaul. God’s call on my life to go to seminary became loud and clear when I was in a horrible job. Shouldn’t there be more people looking at seminary now?

9) Six important findings about new worshiping communities. My travels this month have been fascinating, because they have allowed me to look at new church movements from the view of a seminary, practitioners, and denominational leadership.

10) Seminary scandals. In the last couple of weeks, we have heard about scandals that not only affect the lives of those closely related to seminaries but ripple out with reverberations that affect us all.

11) A girl's guide to getting church. We’ve been looking to men all these years to attract manly, masculine men to church. But who are manly men attracted to? Women.

12) TULIPs for the tolerant. When Zack Hunt pits Rachel Held Evans against every Calvinist dude on the Internet or people look to John Piper as the mouthpiece of the entire Reformed movement, I want to say, "Wait!"

13) Gutting our creatives. I often wonder about the person who stood before the icon, seeing the face of Christ, knowing that each brushstroke was painted with a breath of prayer—and defaced it.

14) It's time we stop washing our hands. I can’t help but think that when white people don’t talk about the issues of racial violence, we stand alongside Pontius Pilate.