On the good days, this is the best job in the world. Yet, as I wedge my foot into my heels, I must recognize the difficulties of our vocation.
It’s important to understand the dysfunctions at church as systems. We know this. Most of us learn this in seminary. But then we get caught up in things, and it all feels so personal. So it’s good to remind ourselves of the reasons why systemic thinking makes sense.
Ministry is incarnationally specific. Pastors are called to see their place and people with God's "lover's eye," and to love them for their particularity.
David Keck offers a refreshing addition to the conversation about vocational expectations. Eugene Peterson’s vision of holiness resonates with Keck, but Keck takes a different tack.
There’s no feeling quite as depressing as a line of connection being suddenly cut short. Ministers have this sensation a lot. We’re often lonely in a crowded room.
“You have to grow tougher skin, Carol,” my colleague told me when I invited him to lunch and asked for his advice on a church matter. I inhaled deeply. That was the same response I heard repeatedly for the first ten years of my pastorate. Whenever I got frustrated, well-meaning friends and colleagues would tell me that I needed to miraculously grow some sort of Teflon epidermis.
Right now, there are a lot of pastors who ought to be looking in the mirror and chanting, “It’s not all about me.”
Unco is short for Unconference. It’s specifically designed for discussions on the future of the church. It’s a percolator for new ministries and ideas, usually within mainline contexts.
After a couple of years of sweating over each syllable, I suddenly needed the words. I hungered to write them. On vacations, my family urged me to take a break and I became cranky. What happened? How did the words begin to grow like wildflowers that I no longer had to coddle?