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Ministry leadership during a pandemic

Who would have known that words like “self-isolate” and “social distancing” would become part of our vocabulary in the way that they have? It has not only become part of our vocabulary; we are living it out. I couldn’t have imagined that it would have felt wrong to shake a person’s hand while standing close enough to touch them. Even more so, that it would be a global experience!

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Navigating gender identity and sexuality in your ministry

One of the very complex and difficult topics that we are increasingly hearing about on our call-in line concerns the subject of homosexuality, same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria.

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Stories of Clergy Appreciation

Our dear friend, H.B. London, who has now gone home to be with the Lord, initiated Clergy Appreciation Month through Focus on the Family many years ago.

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Book review: The Emotionally Destructive Relationship

Over the last while, Focus on the Family Canada’s Clergy Care counselling ministry has had more frequent calls on the topic of destructive or abusive relationships.

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When is it time to leave?

Goodbyes are difficult. Typically we prefer the joyous times of greeting, rather than experiencing the challenging emotions associated with leaving, even if the parting is graced with love and meaningful relationship. Leaving, it seems, is an occupational hazard for all clergy, ministers and missionaries, and seldom do we feel equipped to safely navigate the emotional whitewater rapids that accompany it. Read more

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Is a Kerith Retreat for me?

In 2017, ExPastors.com published the results of a pastoral survey they had done. They asked pastors two questions:

Do you feel overworked? Sixty-four per cent of pastors replied yes.

Do you feel you are unable to meet the demands of ministry? Eighty-six per cent of respondents answered yes.

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Kerith Pines: One couple’s story

On October 20, Josh and I drove out to East Braintree, MB, (what a fabulous vacation destination!) to spend seven days at a retreat centre.

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Book review: The Emotionally Healthy Leader

Peter Scazzero is best known for his work in regards to being a spiritually and emotionally healthy person, beginning with his book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. As a young pastor, Scazzero was working from a place of giftedness and put in a lot of hard work, but soon found it was not all it was meant to be. At a certain point, he started to realize he was emotionally unhealthy. Read more

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The second half of ministry life

My 60th birthday is fast approaching. I’m not sure how this happened. I’m still kind of in shock. But if I’m being honest, my first real tangle with aging was well over two decades ago. I was booked as a workshop speaker at a large conference and it was my fifth year of being part of that speaking team. Read more

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Understanding compassion fatigue

Are there risks and pitfalls that we need to be aware of when it comes to providing care and compassion? Can a person who naturally has a heart of compassion come to a place of no longer being able to be compassionate? Is it sinful for me to step back and allow others to help provide care? As a pastor, am I shirking my responsibilities by doing so? Read more