On Becoming the Pastor

February 13, 2020 ...

Bob Russell served as senior pastor of Southeast Christian Church for 40 years before retiring in 2006 and passing the baton to you. Under Bob’s leadership, the church grew from 120 members to one of the largest churches in America, with 18,000 people attending each weekend. What was it like to succeed someone who was …

Know When to Quit

February 10, 2020 ...

No one asked him to retire; he decided on his own that it was time. “This is not the first time Gretzky has considered retiring; he talked about it in 1991 and 1993. But each time he has proved too talented; even last year, he led the league in assists. But this year [1999] Gretzky …

A Biblical Model for Leadership Succession

February 6, 2020 ...

In these narratives a midrashic approach (a 2nd-century Jewish interpretation) will discover a variety of “principles,” and one might list them and draw the requisite conclusions. For example, the story of David’s family and the harem-conspiracy conflict that erupted after his death could suggest to the midrashist that before a succession event, the organization needs …

How Ethical Standards Can Shape Your Pastoral Transition

February 4, 2020 ...

Seasons of pastoral transition present unique opportunities to ensure that pastors are equipped to live and serve well. Tools like the Code of Ethics for Pastors, developed by the National Association of Evangelicals, can provide a foundation for success. Developed in 2012, the code has become a helpful resource for thousands of pastors who have …

Seven Recent Trends in Leadership Succession

January 30, 2020 ...

Months later, after a nationwide search, Scott Chin was named as president of the Mission. Chin had followed a common pathway for ministry CEOs: work in the corporate world, shift to a Christ-centered nonprofit, invitation to senior staff at the Mission, and then acceptance of a call to its presidency — in his case, at …

Bright Hopes for Tomorrow

December 23, 2019 ...

Evangelical churches in America are doing well, and evangelicalism around the rest of the world is booming—especially in Africa, South America, and parts of Asia and Europe. To flourish in the coming decade, what trends should American pastors anticipate? Let’s risk some predictions for 2029. Read the full article at Christianity Today.

Lessons From a Pregnant Hostage

October 28, 2019 ...

It was 1974 when I was taken hostage by a liberation front seeking independence for Eritrea on the horn of Africa. What my captors didn’t know as they forced me to run for miles is that I was four months pregnant. My co-nurse and friend, Anna, was killed during that race. This was the year …

The Future of Roe v. Wade

October 28, 2019 ...

Justice Blackmun’s opinion in Roe made up a right to abortion in American history, and admitted that because a woman “carries an embryo and, later, a fetus” that “[t]he situation therefore is inherently different” from any previous precedent decided by the court. There is nothing in the text of the Constitution mentioning “abortion” or “privacy.” …

Thoughtful, Knowledgeable Voices

October 25, 2019 ...

The state prosecutors had already threatened the pastor with jail if he refused to testify about his conversation with the accused. I had done enough research on the clergy-penitent privilege to know that many states, including the state in which the pastor lived, recognized only a very narrow privilege for a clergy member not to …

Let There Be Life

October 23, 2019 ...

“It’s a boy!” The 2 a.m. phone call came to me because I was their pastor. The new dad called me first. I was the 25 year old pastor of a congregation averaging under 200 on Sundays in a Colorado town of 23,000. The numbers didn’t matter. It was about the life of a newborn …