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Book Review: Emotionally Healthy Discipleship by Peter Scazzero

A few months ago, the book Emotionally Healthy Discipleship by Pete Scazzero came across my desk. I am usually excited to dive into new titles to stay on top of what’s out there. However, this book triggered a different kind of reaction.

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4 reminders if you’re facing discouragement

We are now almost two years into a global pandemic. To say that vocational leaders are tired and discouraged would be a colossal understatement. On the front end of it, most seemed to quickly acknowledge, “This isn’t going to be a sprint, we’re going to have to lace up for a marathon.” And pastors did just that.

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Pastor, own your calendar or someone else will!

We all have those moments when someone says something that resonates deeply with us. We often don’t even know why, but something tells us: “Pay attention here.”

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Getting to know our new president, Jean-Paul Beran

We hope that you have seen and heard the news that we welcomed a new president here at Focus on the Family Canada this summer. If you missed seeing Jean-Paul Beran’s story in one of our emails or in our October magazine, you can click here to get to know him and his family.

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Appreciating clergy for a job well done

As we turn our thoughts towards Clergy Appreciation Month again this October, I was reminded of the verse on which this celebration is based: 1 Timothy 5:17.

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In praise of rural pastors: Turning Over a New Leaf by Tim Beadle book review

“Just beyond the boundaries of our cities is a unique lifestyle of faith and family of those who have a special connection to the land on which they live.”

Tim Beadle knows of what he speaks. He has spent the last 15 years on the road, travelling this beautiful country of Canada, checking in on rural pastors. What started out as a job turned into a burning passion to understand not just rural ministry but the pastors that God has called to minister there.

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Insights for working with struggling couples

Pastors, we are certain that you are hearing many of the same stories we are hearing: the pandemic has been very hard on stressed marriages. Couples who had a good foundation have done quite well, some even reporting strengthened relationships from increased togetherness over the past 10 months or so, but those whose marriages were already distressed have found life even more challenging.

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Don’t give up

Dear Fellow Servants of the Lord Jesus:

A couple of days ago, on two different occasions, trusted ministry partners shared with me that a significant portion of pastors in North America are discouraged, and even considering leaving pastoral ministry. I woke up this morning with this fact, or observation, on my mind and heart, and during morning devotions wondered if I could speak a word to any of you wrestling along such lines.

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Book review: When to Walk Away: Finding Freedom from Toxic People by Gary Thomas

“If someone is getting in the way of you becoming the person God created you to be or is frustrating the work God has called you to do, for you that person is toxic.”

This quote is taken from Gary Thomas’ book When to Walk Away: Finding Freedom from Toxic People. He wrote this book to help the reader understand the impact of toxic people in their lives. He underscores this by adding, “This book is about protecting our mission from toxic attacks even more than it’s about protecting ourselves from toxic people.”

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Anxiety and the pastor

  • First time in a lead pastor role
  • Labouring to coax a stiff church to lean outward, seek renewal and step up in faith
  • Woman, pastor, wife and mom
  • Younger than all the board members and reminded of it, frequently
  • Life anxiety that just won’t end, even after prayer and a Bible verse
  • Taking up a pastorate in a congregation that “has history”
  • Serving, and suffering, under a bullying board or senior leader

It is quite likely that at least one, and perhaps several, of these situations sound familiar to you. Perhaps it was a time of life or ministry that was particularly challenging, stirring up an inner distress that you couldn’t shake. Perhaps it is that unwelcome, uninvited, but constant companion of anxiety that has long been part of your life.

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