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Reflections on transition in ministry

When you spend four and a half years in one church and then 28 years in the next church, it is easy to think one hasn’t faced much transition. As I look back, I have to say, this isn’t the case.

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How to endure in ministry without facing exhaustion

As I write this, a snowstorm is swirling outside, but in this time, it is not only the weather that keeps us isolated and, in many ways, disconnected. We know that many in society are suffering increased challenges to their mental health due to the restrictions related to COVID-19 – and clergy and ministry leaders are not immune to trials of the mind and spirit.

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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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Friendships in ministry

It’s been four years now since we got in our car and drove away from the city we loved and the church we had pastored for over 28 years. We moved to a new province, a new job and pretty much an entirely new life. The opportunities ahead were exciting. The future was bright. Everything on my “to-do” list had been checked off. The house was sold, the boxes were packed, the moving van was booked – I was ready to go. Or at least I thought I was ready.

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Purposeful waiting for a prodigal

“Purposeful waiting.” It sounds like a nice title for a fictional story. A little bit like a Hallmark movie. We can most likely dictate what will happen at the end when we’re only ten minutes into the movie.

There is a child that runs away, physically, mentally or spiritually – or perhaps all the above. They may not just run away but also run into a life of sin, self-pleasing and rebellion against God.

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Book review: Didn’t See It Coming

“Who knows really what corrodes the soul to the point where it disintegrates?”

This quote is taken from Carey Nieuwhof’s latest book Didn’t See It Coming. In it, Nieuwhof describes the “seven greatest challenges that no one expects and everyone experiences.” The seven challenges are: cynicism, compromise, disconnection, irrelevance, pride, burnout and emptiness.

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Book review: It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way

The title of Lysa Terkeurst’s new book, It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way, immediately caught my attention and I knew I would be adding it to my “must read” list. She asks, “What do you do when God’s timing seems questionable, his lack of intervention hurtful and his promises doubtful?” Read more

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Anatomy of temptation

Don’t say it can never happen to you. It almost happened to me. I was in a particularly vulnerable time of my life, feeling emotionally distant from my family, betrayed and confused, without a safe place to unburden myself. 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