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Rethinking conflict in the local church setting

“One of the first steps leaders can take to develop a safe environment in the midst of change is to recognize the value that conflict holds for them.” – Rendle, G. R

The tendency towards forced termination of church leaders is epidemic in North American. Ken Sande (2003) declared that all the reasons for forced exits can be summarized in one word: conflict. Read more

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Transference and the pastorate

We have an unofficial open door policy at work. One day, excited about a project idea, I went to my supervisor’s office only to find her door closed. Dejected, I returned to my office thinking, I don’t want to share Mommy with anybody else. What? I suddenly asked myself. Share who? Mommy? I laughed out loud! Here I go again, I thought, turning my boss into my mother!

My reaction is a common phenomenon known in psychology as transference. Read more

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The 10 self-assessment questions pastors should ask

“When it stops being fun, find another sport.” That was the advice my wife and I gave our two sons when they played hockey. They looked at us with incredulity when we first gave them this advice. They couldn’t fathom not enjoying hockey. In fact, our words of caution were almost offensive to them. But as time went on, we could see their interest in playing hockey begin to wane. Read more

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It’s all about grace

It all began innocently enough. As a teen, I was interested in photography and picked up a black and white glamour photography magazine – beautiful nudes, faceless, graceful forms. My father spotted it in my room one day and shook his head at me in disgust: “What’s wrong with you? This will put you on the road to hell!” Read more

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Four keys to tackling sexual sin

You can occasionally mention Christ-like “purity” in your sermons. You can very carefully, in the most gentle manner possible, say the four letter word “PORN”, but please make sure you come up with words that sound like PORN, such as “born” or “torn” so that you can play dumb when approached after the service. Read more

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Facing weakness

I’ve been thinking of a small section of Scripture lately. Right after the killing of Stephen, we read in Acts 8:1:

“. . . On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.”

These believers did not respond to persecution as the old heroes of faith did, by willingly laying down their lives. No, they ran! Read more

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Facts on depression

We receive a lot of calls from pastors who struggle with depression. Here are some common symptoms of depression, plus guidance on what to do if you suspect depression has invaded your life. Read more

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Companionship through the spiritual dryness

Where are you, God? This is a question that haunts all of us at different times in our lives, pastors included. Psalm 10:1 says, “Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” We have all had those times when God seems completely uninterested and uninvolved, when our prayer is dry, when our relationship with Him seems empty and one-sided. For the pastor, this reality can be especially worrisome. Read more

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Four reasons why sabbaticals are helpful for church leaders

Many of us dream of having breaks in ministry to restore our passion and our drive. And while sabbaticals are not the “magic bullet” for all your church leadership woes, they truly can refresh you and give you longevity in ministry. Read more

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How to affair-proof your marriage and protect ministry relationships

At the end of a recent counselling session, a client told me that her pastor is on leave from the church ministry. I was thinking the pastor must be on some sort of medical leave, but my client further informed me that her pastor was involved in an affair with a ministry worker from another congregation. My heart sank when I heard the news, and I was angry because the evil one has once again successfully brought down a servant of God who appeared to have a vibrant ministry. Read more