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"May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word."
- II Thessalonians 2:16-17

Monthly Feature

Pictured above: Our Kerith Pines retreat in Manitoba

Good leaders retreat

by Drew Leaver

Good leaders don't always advance, sometimes they retreat.

Great leaders retreat really well.

Escaping the pressure of leadership for a time of evaluation and recalibration is critical. Good leaders know this. In my context, the pastors I most respect who have done some of the most profound work for the kingdom are the ones who have learned the art of retreating well. They make it a habit and they don’t violate the practice.

And you should too.



We're so glad you found our website! If you're a pastor or a family member of a pastor or missionary, you will find all kinds of practical information and encouragement here.

Ministry is a high calling, but it's not for the faint of heart! Inherent in this line of work can be long hours, expectations of others, self-sacrifice and incredible times of joy. The Clergy Care Network and Focus on the Family Canada are here to help provide guidance when life is challenging — and to rejoice with you when things are going well.

Please call us toll-free at 1.888.5.CLERGY or email us at [email protected]. Let us know if we can serve you through complimentary phone counselling, consultation, resource or retreat suggestions or counselling referrals.

Feature Articles

Conflicted by Conflict?

by Marshall Eizenga
“I am at peace with God. My conflict is with Man.” It is likely most of us understand both the joy and the tension of Charlie Chaplin’s statement.

When Christmas isn’t perfect

by Merrie Eizenga
Everything was going exactly as planned. The three-year-olds’ class had just presented a stirring rendition of “C is for the Christ Child.” My firstborn, decked out in his little red sweater, held his Bristol board “B” with precision well beyond his years. On cue the group scampered to the back of the platform and crawled up on designated bales of hay. I smiled with relief. I had just survived my son’s first Christmas concert.

Book recommendations from our Kerith Retreats team

Fall is upon us and the days are getting colder and shorter. There are days when I want to do nothing more than curl up with a good book and relax. I hope you take the time to do that from time to time. This month, I asked our retreat leaders to share with you some of the books they have found especially helpful, meaningful or just enjoyable recently. Their choices are a great range of titles. I know I would like to read a few of these; I hope you might find one or two that you would find useful as well.

Celebrating Clergy Appreciation Month

Focus on the Family Canada's Kerith Retreats are blessed with some extraordinary staff and volunteers who love to serve ministry leaders. We asked them some questions about what motivates them to serve faithfully and selflessly. To summarize: they love pastors and Christian leaders!

4 reminders to keep your team united

by Steve Witmer
Staff relationships can be tricky at times. So how do we maintain loving community in the midst of conflict and necessary change?

Pastor Joe's no good, so sad, very bad day

by Wendy Kittlitz
Pastor Joe is burned out. For him, ministry has become painful, tiring and draining. He isn't sure how he got here and is even less sure of what to do next. There are three common reasons why Pastor Joe may be experiencing burnout.

Hope Restored: A new option for couples in crisis

by Wendy Kittlitz
We would like to let you know about a new option we are currently working on bringing to Canada to better help you with those in your church whose marriages are in distress.

Understanding compassion fatigue

by Sam Doerksen
If you're feeling emotionally and physically overwhelmed in your position as a caregiver because you're unable to refuel and regenerate, you may be struggling with compassion fatigue.

Viewing Lent through new eyes

by Pauline Doerksen
The season of Lent is upon us. However, as I reflect on my formative years, Lent was always that looming darkness, echoing over and over again to me: You’ll never be good enough, You’re just a bad kid, Who are you trying to fool?

How to become emotionally intelligent

by Sam Doerksen
The question of what we are supposed to do with emotions can be a tough one for many of us. To some, anger is a “legitimate” emotion – it’s rational or righteous in nature. But tears and sensitivity? No chance. The reality is sensitivity and anger are both legitimate. Denying any emotion never works well.

Why pastors need friends too

by Steve Witmer
We are more connected through our electronics than any generation in history. And yet, we have never been lonelier. There are lonely people at your place of employment, in the pew and sadly, even in the parsonage. Pastors and their spouses are not exempt from the inner ache - and even heartbreak - that emanates from shallow relationships.

Tackling pornography in church

There was a time when we mostly heard from women who had discovered their husbands were using pornography. But increasingly now we are hearing from parents who are finding their children not only exposed but in many cases already addicted as teenagers! In order to help you tackle this issue in your church, we have a resource we believe could greatly benefit families.

How to properly process loss

by Merrie Eizenga
Loss is so much broader than just physical death. It's one of the topics we discuss with the pastors and church leaders who visit us at Kerith Retreats, and it is one of the topics that elicits the most response.

The gift of a fresh start

by Sam and Pauline Doerksen

A healthy way to move into a new fresh start requires us to look ahead and recognize the need for change before it's a necessity - and this is best done proactively. But how can we start fresh before a crisis requires it?

Pursuit of sexual integrity as a church leader

by Sam and Pauline Doerksen

How do we approach the pursuit of sexual integrity when we feel like we are risking everything by doing so? Unpacking this issue can feel like opening Pandora's box. The uncertainties of what the consequences may be can feel daunting, yet the inner cry for release from the gripping hold and bondage constantly war against each other.

Depression: Who really understands it?

by Sam and Pauline Doerksen

Over the last few years, we have become more informed about mental health concerns with a great deal of focus on depression. Some of our information has come from reading books, speaking to experts in this field and attending a couple of seminars. While that information is extremely important, it still leaves a broad measure of unknowns.

Dealing with a wounded soul

by Wendy Kittlitz

Do you ever struggle with truly feeling loved? Loved by God? Loved by your spouse? Loved by those you love? In your head, maybe you know that people love you or God loves you, but it might not always translate into your heart or soul.


For more, visit our article archive.

*Note: Links to external sites or articles do not constitute endorsement or complete agreement by Focus on the Family Canada with information or resources offered at or through those sites.

Current Thoughts & Issues

Is viewing pornography grounds for divorce?

Have you ever been asked this question? What was your answer?

We address this issue in our article on Do you agree or disagree? Email us your thoughts.

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