7 Things I’ve Learned In 30+ Years Of Pastoral Ministry
I don’t consider myself an expert, but thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned over the years
“Even if someone’s criticism is completely off, there’s almost always something we can learn. James tells us to be quick to listen and slow to speak. Often when someone brings us negative criticism, our first reaction can be to defend ourselves or write them off. Someone’s critique may not be 100% correct, but I’ve found... Continue Reading
New Obamacare Tax Law May Affect Churches
New tax rule in conjunction with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act may affect churches
“The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) points out a viable option for churches affected by the rule, which is to increase employees’ overall taxable compensation without requiring that the additional income be used to purchase health coverage.” A new tax rule in conjunction with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act may affect... Continue Reading
“Righteous” Reputations of Churches That Don’t Care
Why do so many churches fail to do the right thing when they learn that one of their own has been accused of sexual abuse?
What is the right thing to do when a church learns that one of its own has been accused of victimizing a child? First and foremost, it must immediately turn its focus and care away from institutional reputation and towards the victimized and the vulnerable. Though there are multitudes of ways this can be... Continue Reading
Being Soul Sad for My Church
I felt the deep loss of being soul sad this past week when the belief and dedication to the Bible died in the Presbyterian Church (USA)
Last week it became our Presbytery’s time to vote, not that our vote would matter, the manipulators and schemers had, during the General Assembly Meeting last July, already put into effect the Authoritative Interpretation that negated any real power to divert or correct the plunge of the Presbyterian Church USA into apostasy. However, it was... Continue Reading
Why So Many Young Christians Are Leaving Their Churches — And Coming Back Again
A millennial's thoughts on faith and church membership
Many of my friends have started returning to their childhood church communities, if for no other reason than it feels more faithful to recommit to what they already know than commit to uncertainty. As for me, I’ve decided to recommit to going to church with my husband rather than continuing the search alone. I am... Continue Reading
Despite Assurances, Should PCUSA Pastors Worry about Their Future and Same-Sex Marriage?
PCUSA officials have been quick to offer assurances that no pastor would be forced to conduct a same-sex wedding and no church would be forced to host one.
So, for now the authority to marry same-sex people in Presbyterian churches is permissive and not compulsory. “But,” LaBerge commented, “If this is a genuine justice issue, which supporters of marriage redefinition claim, then how long do you think they’re really going to be willing for the denomination to limp along between two opinions? How... Continue Reading
Nine Traits of Mean Churches
Are mean churches really increasing in number?
So, after receiving the second email, I began to assimilate all the information I could find where church members had written me about their “mean” churches. They may not have used the word “mean” specifically, but the intent was the same. I then collected characteristics of these churches, and I found nine that were common.... Continue Reading
RCA Approves University Reformed Church’s Transfer to the PCA
As a condition of its transfer, University Reformed Church (URC) must pay its annual assessment for 2015 and 2016 (roughly $80,000 total) and pay an additional $200,000 so that the classis can plant another church in the area.
The classis committee investigating our petition recommended that our request be denied and we not be able to leave the RCA. The classis, however, approved a substitute motion which granted URC and its pastors a transfer into the PCA. A proposed amendment to strike the $200,000 requirement from the substitute motion failed. The final vote... Continue Reading
Presbyterians And Homosexuals Together: The Crisis Of Christ And Culture
From its inception Christianity was a marginalized not a culturally powerful or influential religion.
With the death of the mainlines we’re witnessing the last gasp of the informal Constantinianism in America, the gathering of cultural elites in the narthex of tall-steeple PCUSA congregations. The informal coalition of cultural and political power brokers in and with the mainline is dead. The WWII generation was probably the last to care to identify with... Continue Reading
Door May Be Closing for Churches Seeking Dismissal from PCUSA
In at least two Presbyterian Church (USA) presbyteries open letters are circulating asking that no more churches be dismissed from the denomination.
The letter suggests that it would have been better if the presbytery leaders had responded to dismissal requests “with a clear word when they had a chance to say no. For example: ‘we are sorry you are unhappy. But we believe we are all better together. Please reconsider. But if you don’t, please know that... Continue Reading