Communication

When the Congregation Abuses its Pastor

Recently I heard the fifth story in as many months about a pastor being physically threatened, and his family verbally abused, by members of his congregation.

Recently I heard the fifth story in as many months about a pastor being physically threatened, and his family verbally abused, by members of his congregation.

Health and Effectiveness in Ministry

We find that pastors are often whipsawed by competing outside expectations and held to various measures of effectiveness, such as head counts or dollar figures, that may be unrealistic or unfair...

Divinity magazine is the glossy periodical for friends and alumni of Duke Divinity School. In the new issue, there is a column by Scott Field, a DDS alum and pastor in the Northern Illinois Conference.

Field’s first appointment out of seminary was to Wheatland Salem Church, a rural congregation averaging 50 in worship attendance, struggling to survive. Thirty years later he is still there, and the church has thrived during his tenure, erecting a new building to house its multiplying ministries, and growing to be the second largest church in his conference.

Tags - Connection: 

In the News: Health Coaching

For those (like me) who are relatively new to the concept, it may be helpful to define coaching partly by what it is not: it is not therapy.

Via our friend George Jacobs of the Davidson Clergy Center:
A Massachusetts pilot study is assessing the effectiveness of health coaching.

Grace Hackney: I Want to be a Healthy Pastor

Wendell Berry has famously said that the smallest unit of health is community. Being a pastor is teaching me that...

Thank you to Rev. Grace Hackney for the following commentary.

If you would like to submit a guest post to The Connection, please email Robin Swift. We welcome your contributions and your comments.

Kate Rugani
Communications Manager
Clergy Health Initiative

Losing To Win

Let's give it up for Pastor Randy Maynard and St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Raleigh...

Let's give it up for Pastor Randy Maynard and St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Raleigh. St. Andrews is in a weight-loss contest with three neighboring churches, and Randy is setting the pace, having lost 43 pounds in a little under 90 days. (Am I reading this right? Wow!)

Here is Yonat Shimron's write-up in the Raleigh N&O;. This sounds like a wonderful idea, bringing congregants and whole churches together, and highlighting the links between body and spirit, and between health and Christian discipleship.

‘Tis Better to Give

From the New York Times, here is a recent piece on the health benefits of giving – benefits, that is, for the giver...

From the New York Times, here is a recent piece on the health benefits of giving – benefits, that is, for the giver.

The article is partly tied to holiday giving. But the writer gives a nod, not just to material gifts for the names on our shopping list, but also to gifts of our time and care. She cites numerous studies that show improved health outcomes for people involved in helping or volunteering. One study describes an endorphin rush or “helper’s high” from altruistic behavior, and finds that “[t]he strongest effect was seen when the act of altruism involved direct contact with other people.” So writing a check is not as revivifying as giving our time and attention to a person in need.

Contagious Loneliness, Contagious Healing

Check out this wonderful meditation from Faith and Leadership, posted today by Allegra Jordan: contagious loneliness/contagious healing. It's perfect for Advent...

Check out this wonderful meditation from Faith and Leadership, posted today by Allegra Jordan:
contagious loneliness/contagious healing. It's perfect for Advent.

Whales

The stresses of pastoral ministry may not sound like fingernails on the blackboard, at least not at first...

At least several times a year we read that whales have run aground on a beach somewhere and died. Though groundings have happened in many places around the world, there appears to be a correlation between this sad behavior and underwater sonar testing by some nation's navy.

The Wall

Our health coaches at Davidson Clergy Center are beginning to advise us that we should talk about “The Wall” – that phenomenon that occurs about three months into making a planned behavior change...

Our health coaches at Davidson Clergy Center are beginning to advise us that we should talk about “The Wall” – that phenomenon that occurs about three months into making a planned behavior change. Suddenly, the great plan doesn’t seem so great and workable any more, and with the change of time, weather, season, workload, suddenly “back-sliding” ( a medical term) can occur. This is a normal, expected stage in making long-term change.

Time Out: It's Not Just for Small Children

Do you ever have days when you know that the next person who messes with you, in any way, is going to get a dump truck full of frustration unloaded on them?

Do you ever have days when you know that the next person who messes with you, in any way, is going to get a dump truck full of frustration unloaded on them? Anyone who works with other people in the intense ways that pastors do knows how tension and anxiety can build up. And it is usually the person who really doesn't deserve it who gets buried under the truckload.

Pages