Friday, December 31, 2010

Hope for 2011?

During the past year, I worked with congregations that made me wish I lived closer and could be part of it all. With other congregations, I resisted mightily the temptation to tell them to just close the doors and go home, there was so little of value there.

Theologian Miroslav Volf often writes that churches fail at their central task because they do not define a way of life that is worth living. My less hopeful side suggests that the prevailing consumer culture overpowers the church's message of prayer, forgiveness, and redemption.

During 2011, I'm hoping readers will provide examples of churches that do, indeed, define a way of life that goes beyond acquiring consumer goods; a way of life that transcends our individual interests, whims, and preferences.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The purpose of worship..

A friend of mine is a sixty-something, lapsed Presbyterian who is quite cynical about the church. She attended a service at the Vineyard Christian Fellowship, a rock and roll church that is one of the fastest-growing in America. I expected her to scoff at the experience.

Instead, she cried. She said, "That service led people to their pain very effectively, and having done so, led them out of that pain and gave them hope for the week ahead."

Episcopal priest Philip Weihe once wrote, "Anyone who has had an experience of the presence of God during a worship event is forever marked by that experience and will try to recreate that moment."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A little holiday fun...

I've had a number of people send me sermon titles over the past few days, so I thought we might start a little collection of the year's greatest hits. Post your own entry, whether profound or less so.

Here are a few starters. I'll note "Aspiration," once again, since that is particularly striking. Another is, "The Overconnected Soul." One of my personal favorites is, "Death: It's Place in Your Life." (I always thought it came near the end.)

In 2003, the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox were in the playoffs. Neither team had won a World Series in almost a century. A sign on a Presbyterian church read, "Cubs vs. Red Sox: There is a God." A friend of mine preached a sermon titled, "Is sex necessary?" from a short story by James Thurber.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Healthy churches..

I'm a fan of John Buchanan, a Presbyterian minister and editor of Christian Century magazine. He recently mentioned reading Jonathan Franzen's new novel, Freedom. He concluded that the characters in the novel don't have enough important things to do.

He writes, "I kept wishing they'd all pack up and go to church some Sunday morning and volunteer in a homeless shelter or sign up for a mission trip."

This reminds me of UCC minister Anthony Robinson often saying that too many churches function as though nothing important is at stake. So, kind readers, beyond Sunday mornings and various church programs, is there truly something important at stake going on in your church?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sermon titles, continued...

Two posts below this one is a comment about the unfortunate practice of publishing sermon titles in newsletters and on websites. Beyond sermon titles themselves, descriptions of sermon topics on various church websites support my point of view.

Sermon topics include: a deepening conversation that is both contextual and relational, an integration of ourselves into our milieu, attuned to the now that is carried out in our bodies, the artistry of shifting paradigms, exploring deeply that senses and feelings are important, allowing more breathing space to learn, and where are those who will say, "yes." Also, let us not overlook the struggle to have fun.

Does anyone out there actually believe this drivel will attract visitors, let alone current members? Of course, if this is what visitors find when they do show up, well, that's an issue for another time.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Past our prime?

I often chide the Unitarian Universalists in regard to "seeking truth" being an inane vision for a congregation. But sometimes, a dose of one person's truth may be a good thing. Or maybe not. Here's some possible truth to ponder.

"The future of American liberal religion is one characterized by a posture of exile, where we no longer can expect that the larger culture cares what we are saying or doing."

Christopher H. Evans, from his new book, Liberalism Without Illusion: Renewing an American Christian Tradition

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Guaranteed low attendance...

The very best way to deter church shoppers and potential new members is to list sermon titles, topics, and the speaker in the church newsletter or on the church website. (Special occasions an exception.)

Potential visitors often check out church websites. If they like what they see, they're inclined to visit. This desire to visit may be thwarted by a particular sermon topic. For current members, listing titles creates a "pick and choose" faith, i.e., I like that sermon topic so I'll be there; I don't like that sermon topic so I'll stay home.

Listing sermon titles is a lose-lose situation all around.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Now is not the time to cut back..

I realize the last two years have been very difficult financially for many Americans. At the same time, I'm working with a medium-sized Episcopal church that began giving away the offering every Sunday, and also saw a 10-12 percent increase in the annual pledge drive for each of the past two years.

The minister and lay leaders believed that cutting back when others were in great need was counter to the congregation they wish to become.

A recent survey noted that almost 60 percent of Americans will spend as much, or more, for holiday gifts this year than last. This is not a time for church leaders to act as protectors of people's pocketbooks. This is the time for churches of all faiths to increase their good works
in the larger community.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Fear and Anxiety Committee...

One guaranteed emotional response to change in a church is fear. I have seen fear go off on its own course regardless of anyone's ironclad process, and I've seen change make a direct hit to the anxiety alarm in the brain.

I have seen clergy thrown to the anti-change wolves. I have watched transformational leaders butt their heads against emotional barriers.

Three issues are in play: Fear and other emotions complicate all efforts; many pastors are not prepared to do transitional work in their congregations; and, it's absolutely critical that churches connect serious change with their mission to the larger world.

Peter Steinke, The Christian Century, November 16, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Change? At our church?

The price of moving up off a plateau in membership usually requires paying the price of change. It means a change from doing yesterday over again, only better, to an intentional venture into new territory.

The goalless drift that is characteristic of too many congregations on a comfortable plateau in size must be replaced by vision, intentionality, a venturesome spirit, and the will to pioneer new approaches to ministry. Rarely, does this "just happen." It is the product of visionary and initiating leadership.

Lyle Schaller, 44 Steps Up Off the Plateau

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The make it or break it issue..

Is your church a voluntary association, or a community in covenant? A voluntary association allows members to set their own rules for participation. A community in covenant is one in which the institution of the church sets the standards. This is a VAST contrast in approaches.

Many churches claim to be covenanted communities, but they really aren't. They function like voluntary associations. The more theologically liberal, the more likely this is the case. If your church is a voluntary association, chances are good that what your church is today is what it will be forevermore. It will only attract people who desire a low expectation environment.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Christmas giving at its best...

I urge hearty souls to give to their churches the same amount of money they spend on Christmas presents for friends and family members. This money would go toward mission beyond the church's four walls, and not be put into the operating budget.

What a wonderful Christmas gift this would be, allowing us to shop in good conscience. If you think this is a stupendously good idea, as I do, please tell others.

I heard Christmas music in a department store yesterday, November 3.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A little consternation...

I'm a big fan of divine discontent. It awakens congregations to a better understanding of their vision, a deeper commitment to building community, and making a real difference in the lives of so many.

This restlessness is one of the reasons I have hope for congregations, and why I like working with them.

William Avery, Revitalizing Congregations

Friday, October 22, 2010

Where does a church vision come from?

The children of Israel's forty years in the desert offered the world its first church mission, vision, and values discernment process. A generation wandered around and died in the wilderness, running from its past and scared of its future. I have led plenty of navel-gazing processes in churches, and have observed the same dynamic.

What I have learned is this. Vision does not descend on groups; it usually comes to individuals and then is confirmed by groups. Churches that have good leaders and an urgency about their mission will sail to the stars. Churches that are paralyzed will gain nothing by self-study. They will just use the self-study as a stalling tactic.

Paul Nixon, I Refuse to Lead a Dying Church

Friday, October 15, 2010

A way of life...

How we work and how we spend our money are dangerous matters to consider. Were we to think deeply about these issues, we might actually have to change the way we live. We believe it is immoral to be greedy. We say it's immoral to live high on the hog when others are starving.

But another part of us has been trained to consider these matters as "preferences," not profound religious issues. Because they fall into the economic compartment of our lives, we tell ourselves that we have the right to make whatever choices we want. As long as we don't blatantly lie, cheat, or steal, it makes no difference how we work or what we buy.

Robert Wuthnow, The Crisis in the Churches: Spiritual Malaise, Fiscal Woe

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Empty seats...

Since 2001, Sunday worship attendance in mainline faiths and Catholicism has seen a steady decline. The only deviation is churches that attract 1,000 or
more on Sunday mornings.

Trends include people coming to church less frequently, an aging church population, and a growing lack of interest in religion. The group that has grown the fastest are those who never attend church. Findings of the survey indicate an "erosion of vitality" in many congregations.

Note: My own question is how to make one of the world's most engaging subjects so utterly lifeless.

David Roozen, from the study, Faith Communities Today

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Most Americans now spend more than eight hours a day looking at a television, a computer monitor, or the screens of their electronic devices. According to author Nicholas Carr, 'Having external access to data is a far cry from having a richly furnished mind."

Episcopal minister Barbara Brown Taylor, a faculty member who teaches undergraduate students, does not bemoan the existence of electronic media, but she does believe that young people have lost the freedom to decide when they should or should not be online, a form of electronic bondage.

It seems to me there's a spiritual issue involved here somewhere.

Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains

Monday, October 4, 2010

Formation, not education...

One of the most powerful tools of formation is the small group. In such groups, people seek the formation and transformation of other people. Transformation - seeking new lives and behavior - is what they are all about.

The church in a new time has a lot to learn from small groups. In this era, a kind of bland and generalized friendliness seemed adequate for many. But today people seek, and formation requires, something more intentional, something with a greater depth of intimacy and honesty, in which people are held accountable for their actions.

Anthony Robinson, Transforming Congregational Culture

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Two quotes...

A few days ago was the birthday of John Adams, patriot and the second president of the US. He once said that revolution is, "Setting little brush fires in people's minds." A less well-known figure is Serge Diaghilev, an impresario and a fan of composer Igor Stravinsky. He once said, "Life is tolerable only to the extent that one can summon up marvels."

I was just thinking that these would be excellent traits of clergy and lay leaders, setting some little fires and summoning up a marvel or two, along with a few surprises and quirks now and again. This would make church ever so more interesting, and address Baptist minister Peter Gomes' view that much of contemporary life is fern-bar quality that passes for reality in these tedious times.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Things are mostly OK...

Major change is usually impossible unless most people are willing to help, often to the point of making short-term sacrifices. But people will not make sacrifices, even if they are unsatisfied with the status quo, unless they think the potential benefits of change are attractive.

Most leaders underestimate how difficult it is to move people out of their comfort zones, and how new ideas can be talked to death by skilled filibusterers. A common attitude is, "Well, we have our problems, but they aren't all that bad, and we're mostly OK."

John Kotter, Leading Change

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Error #1

By far, the biggest mistake people make when trying to change any organization is to plunge ahead without establishing a high enough sense of urgency. This error is fatal because transformations always fail to achieve their objectives when complacency levels are high.

John Kotter, Leading Change

Monday, September 20, 2010

What to believe?

Some people believe it to be physically true that Christ was born as the son of a virgin, while others deny this as a physical impossibility. Everyone can see there is no logical solution to this conflict, and that one would do better not to get involved in such sterile disputes.

Both views are right and wrong. Religious sentiments are of this type. They refer without objection to things that cannot be established as physical facts.

C. G. Jung, Answer to Job: The Problem of Evil; Its Psychological and Religious Origins

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Lord works in mysterious ways...

Church logo tattoos are the latest in offbeat testimony at an Orange County, California church that holds Sunday services in a punk rock nightclub and collects offerings in KFC buckets.

Pastor Kyle Steven Bonenberger told worshippers that God "tattooed your name on his heart" and it was time for an everlasting commitment to Him and the church. About a dozen members of the City Church of Anaheim got tattoos of the red-heart church logo, fulfilling a pledge they made if the church doubled its normal attendance.

(The tattoo above is not the church logo, but rather an example of this type of religious expression.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Who shall lead them?

Our interviews with nationwide, representative samples of Protestant ministers consistently show that most pastors do not consider themselves to be leaders. Fewer than one out of twenty ministers believe he/she has the spiritual gift of leadership.

Fewer than one out of four ministers claim to serve the church as a true leader. Most of them feel they have been called, trained, and hired to preach and teach. Leadership is viewed as an unfortunate duty they must endure as part of the deal.

George Barna, The Habits of Highly Effective Churches

Monday, September 13, 2010

The modern world...

Too often we preachers have taken it as our task to make the faith fit with the modern world, rather than to challenge it. In years past, when I was confronted by people who said, "I have a problem with Easter, just can't buy it," I would make it easier by saying that Easter is just a symbol or a metaphor.

Now, when someone says they have trouble with Easter, I reply, "Well, that's not surprising. You live in a closed world, a world that is fully explained and predictable. No wonder you have trouble with Easter, with the claim that God is breaking into the world, doing a new thing. This is difficult for satisfied moderns. But take heart, with God all things are possible."

Anthony Robinson, Transforming Congregational Culture

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A path of many steps...

My coming to faith did not start with a leap but rather a series of staggers from what seemed like one safe place to another. Like lily pads, round and green, these places summoned and then held me while I grew. Each prepared me for the next leaf on which I would land, and in this way I moved across the swamp of doubt and fear.

When I look back at some of those resting places - the boisterous home of the Catholics, the soft armchair of the Christian Science mom, adoption by ardent Jews - I can see how flimsy and indirect a path they made. Yet each step brought me closer to the verdant path of faith on which I somehow stay afloat today.

Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A matter of law...

In Jewish tradition, tzedakah, or acts of justice, is considered a divine commandment that Jews have an obligation to observe. Tzedakah is a matter of justice and therefore a legislative obligation. You are obligated to be generous to those in need whether you feel like it or not.

One who does not give tzedakah to the needy is not simply uncharitable of heart, but in violation of the law.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro, founder of the Simply Jewish Fellowship

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hipster church...

One of the most popular, and most unseemly, methods of making Christianity hip is to make it shocking. Oak Leaf Church in Georgia has a website, Mark Driscoll at Seattle's Mars Hill Church delivers sermons titled, "Biblical Oral Sex," and "Pleasuring Your Partner."

If young people are interested in Christianity of any sort
in a serious way, it is not because it's easy or trendy. It's because Jesus himself is appealing, and what he says rings true. It's because the world that young people inhabit is utterly phony, ephemeral, narcissistic, image-obsessed, and sex-drenched - and we want an alternative. It's not because we want more of the same.

Brett McCracken, Hipster Christianity: Where Church and Cool Collide

Monday, August 30, 2010

An extraordinary feat...

I just returned from Charlotte, NC, where I led
a one-day event on congregations of the future. Among those attending were members of the Myers Park Presbyterian Church, which has grown to some 5,000 members.

The church recently completed a $30 million capital campaign. It gave away $12 million to outreach and mission, 40 percent of the total. I asked members if there was a lot of arm-twisting to do this. They replied, "No. Our pastor, Steve Eason, thought it was the right thing to do, and we agreed."

Eason's message on the church website includes the statement, "Our church is all over the place. We startle people with acts of generosity."

Friday, August 20, 2010

A danger to your religion...

The board of trustees was in a heated debate about chili mac, a strange casserole that dares to cross macaroni and cheese with canned chili and call it food. Do we get large cans of chili or small? Does anyone have a membership to a discount warehouse? Should we buy grated cheese or grate it ourselves, because the homeless shelter does not have a cheese grater. Let's do a cost comparison.

It has now been 51 minutes. I am losing my religion. As they are nearing a decision, a new board member says, "Why do we always make chili mac? People said they were tired of it." The clerk then says, "Did we decide to buy grated cheese or purchase a cheese grater? I need this for the minutes."

For this I spent three years in graduate school.

Lillian Daniel, This Odd and Wondrous Calling

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A really great guy...

The National Study of Youth and Religion discovered that teenagers tend to think that a God exists who created the world and watches over life on earth. God also wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other.

They believe that the central goal of life is to be happy and feel good about yourself, and that God need not be involved except when needed to solve a problem.

Kenad Creasy Dean, The Christian Century, August 10, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Country club church?

It seems to me that the church I was trained to expect was some sort of cocky, country-club fortress that needed to be taken down a peg or two. We, the new ministers, would come flying in like Underdog, armed with new hymnals, new language, and new ideas, inspired by professors who were still passionately processing their two years in ministry fifteen years ago.

The church I was trained to expect was a church that needed fixing, not in its weakness, but in its hubris.

Lillian Daniel, This Odd and Wondrous Calling

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The quiet church?

"More than ever, we need voices of reason and deep spirituality. The voices of intolerance and hatred are too loud."

United Church of Christ president Geoffrey Black

My observation: churches on the progressive end of the theological spectrum rarely take stands on issues of the day. The reason is often to preserve congregational harmony. But I wonder if this relegates those needed voices of reason to the sidelines, as spectators, while others are on the playing field where the action is.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Packing for church...

Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana signed a bill that will allow people to carry concealed handguns to church. The new law is the opposite of a previous law that banned concealed weapons inside churches, synagogues, and other houses of worship; but it does allow churches to choose whether to permit guns inside their facilities.

The new law requires pastors who allow concealed weapons to announce to worshipers that there might be gun-toters among them in the pews. Ah, life in the U.S. of A.

A whole new era...

The megachurch has completely changed the face of congregational life. Megachurches are becoming de facto replacements for denominations and seminaries, by providing resources and training staff more efficiently.

Megachurch leaders can find resources for adult education, youth programs, and hire experienced, successful pastors without ever needing a denomination or seminary and the baggage of such hierarchical structures.

Scott Thumma, Hartford Seminary, Connecticut

Saturday, July 31, 2010

For what are we searching?

Several ministers and professional counselors I interviewed said that people enter the professional ministry for many reasons. A common theme for people choosing ministry is a search for approval and acceptance.

Several clergy noted that a primary reason they entered the ministry was to find the paternal or parental approval and acceptance they had never experienced in their family of origin. Many have difficulty believing theologian Paul Tillich's view, "To simply accept that fact that you are accepted."

James Hightower and W. Craig Gillian, A Time for Change? Revisioning Your Call.

Upon this rock?

The church's strengths may also be its weaknesses: diversity tolerance, compromise, practicality, and niceness. Truth gets written by committee, mystery gets lost in translation, decency gets translated into dullness, and the spirit gets hamstrung by bureaucracy.

Some critics call us, "The Church of Christ, Sociologist." The church has an ability to avoid doing that which will screw up the works; it may not do the best thing, but it can be counted on not to do the worst. This may be reassuring to some, but does not strike me as a rock upon which to build a church.

Ron Graham, God's Dominion

Friday, July 30, 2010

Rock and Roll!

An organization called Worship and Word has scheduled a Christian Rock concert, dubbed Heaven Fest, at a town in Colorado near where I live. An estimated 50,000 people are expected to attend. Seven stages are set up, and bands include Casting Crowns and the Sacred Assembly.

Steve Chavis, spokesman for Heaven Fest, said this festival is meant to inspire and spark a new generation with passion for the poor around the world.

While some traditional churches have incorporated contemporary music into their services, the vast majority
do not grasp the extraordinary power of new music and its message in reaching younger generations. As the old saying goes, diverse music in many churches ranges from the major works of Bach to the minor works of Bach.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


In the global economy, half the population lives on less than $2 per day. But most of us never spend significant time with people outside our economic class or educational bracket.

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, The Christian Century, May 4, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Learn the wisdom of silence...

Pastors who maintain good relationships with their congregations bite their tongues with great regularity. Avoid the temptation to say, "If you had attended the last board meeting/worship service/committee meeting as you were supposed to, you would have known that!"

Or, "Since you know so much about the topic, why don't you preach a sermon series on it." As good as it might feel to make those comments, the pastor pays too high a price in terms of guilt, escalating conflict, and damage to relationships.

R. Robert Cueni, What Ministers Can't Learn in Seminary

Friday, July 9, 2010

Don't cook on a bonfire...

When people are yelling at one another, the reassuring words of the pastor cannot be heard. To state it differently, satisfaction comes to those who wait until the flames have burned to glowing coals. This applies to all domestic quarrels and almost all ecclesiastical battles.

A normal part of church life includes periodic, spontaneous explosions in the choir, the men's group, and between certain church members. Clergy should control the urge to plunge in as mediator. Clergy often have delusions of grandeur when it comes to evaluating their ability as reconcilers. They also have significant difficulty distinguishing when they are actually needed from when they need to be needed.

R. Robert Cueni, What Ministers Can't Learn in Seminary

Friday, July 2, 2010

All the world's a stage...

Calvin said somewhere that each of us is an actor on the stage and God is the audience. That metaphor has always interested me, because it makes us artists of our own behavior, and the reaction of God to us might be aesthetic rather than morally judgmental.

How well do we understand our roles? With how much assurance do we perform? I like Calvin's image, because it suggests that God might actually enjoy us.

Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

No time to waste...

Busy. A horrible word. It suggests a spiritual disease. A bore is someone who remarks how busy he is and with what activities. I think "busy" means being egotistic and arrogant - believing the world needs me so much. It means being inhospitable:
I regale you with how much work your presence demands of me, how intrusive you are.

I play God. I imply that you are less important if you are less busy. It's hard to expunge "busy" from the vocabulary, but it helps to remember its use is offensive.

Martin E. Marty, Lovers' Quarrels and Casserole Theology

Slow going...

Traditional churches are in the business of raising tortoises. Whenever a tortoise is elected to the Official Board, one can be assured that everything will take time, and that several redundant levels of management will revisit decisions numerous times.

Tortoises are methodical, dutiful, and persistent, but they will never go faster than the oldest member.

Thomas A. Bandy, Christian Chaos

Monday, June 21, 2010

Jewish wedding?

My only daughter was recently married, and she enthusiastically agreed to be married by a rabbi who is close to our family. Every minister should have a rabbi friend. When he read Psalm 100, originally thought to be composed for a wedding, he spoke each line in flawless Hebrew, then translated the blessings into English. The sound of it was remarkable, as if the ancients were also present in the room.

Having a rabbi bless this sacred covenant struck me as preferable to taking a chance that some preacher might make a joke about the odds of a successful marriage or, worse, launch into a diatribe against the evils of fornication.

Red-state UCC Minister Robin Meyers

I dedicate this book to all the men and women who have chosen parish ministry as their life's work, and do not yet wish to be considered harmless artifacts from another age. May all those who labor in the most misunderstood, dangerous, and sublime of all professions be inspired by the possibility that one's head and one's heart can be equal partners in faith.

Lest the church end up a museum piece whose clergy are affable but laughable cartoons, we must once again dedicate ourselves to this wild calling - one that led us away from more comfortable lives and into the only profession where radical truth-telling is part of the job description.

May we fear no man (sic) and no creed, save our own timidity, and may we encourage and support one another in pursuit of religion that is biblically responsible, intellectually honest, emotionally satisfying, and socially significant.

Robin R. Myers, Saving Jesus from the Church

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Our common lot?

We've all been there. We struggle with unanswered prayer. We identify with the old spiritual, "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen." The old landmarks seem to have slipped away. We worry about job security, terrorism, or health care. We wonder if we can pay the mortgage.

Sometimes our prayers stick in our throats and the psalmist's lament becomes our own: "Has his steadfast love ceased forever?" "Are his promises at an end?" This is the street where most of us live.

Rev. Roger Lovett, Reflections on the Lectionary, The Christian Century, June 15, 2010.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Camera, Action!

I recently attended a Coming of Age ceremony that was part of the Sunday morning service. This particular service included teenagers who had completed a year-long class, and were being welcomed as members into the church.

I wish the minister had said there would be ample time for photos after the service. Instead, family members in the pews turned into the equivalent of church-going paparazzi, crowding one another out with their flash cameras and video cameras, straining to get the best camera angle. It was a circus, instead of a meaningful religious occasion.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Home grown...

The emergence of ministers from within their own congregations will increase. Rather than seek seminary-trained leaders, more and more churches are calling committed laypersons from within their own ranks to fill ministry positions.

If additional education and training is needed, the congregation arranges for it. The person's connection and commitment to the congregation is more highly valued than education and experience.

Prediction from Thom Ranier, president of LifeWay Christian Resources

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Clergy blues?

I've seen frequent references in church literature that ministers say they probably would not be members of the congregations they serve.
I wonder why this is the case, and how many ministers feel this way.