Posts

Emotional Wellness

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I have something to admit. I stuggle. I struggle with my self-worth. I struggle with feeling joyful. I struggle with negative self-talk. I struggle with having fun. And that's really just naming a few of the things that I have found myself struggling with over the past few years. I read a recent article from the Barna Research Group that shared that 38% of pastors have given SERIOUS consideration of leaving ministry over the past couple of years.  Honestly, I've been one of them. This is not a pity party. This is not to make anyone feel guilty. It's just what it is. Ministry and life, in general, have been challenging over the past two years. It makes perfect sense that many leaders are seriously looking for an emergency exit! What kept me from doing something drastic? I have taken my emotional health very seriously long before the pandemic started! You will not realize that you are emotionally unhealthy until you reach a point that you can't manage anymore. In the lat

The Journey of Wellness

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Today is a new day. I'm back at my office. I haven't worked from here in two years. I have spent the last two full years working from home during the week and only using my office quickly on Sunday morning before services. All my staff meetings, pastoral meetings, leadership meetings for the past two years have been either online or at my house. I gotta admit... it's kinda strange being back here! This was my regular routine for nearly 10 years as I have served here at my church. Hard to believe this September it will be 12 years that I have been here in this role. And for 2 of those nearly 12 years, I've been working from home, sitting at a small desk in my basement. And I learned a lot over the past two years! I've learned about the importance of our journey of wellness. In order to live the life that I envision for myself and my family (and my church!) I needed to make several shifts in my lifestyle. I had to see myself on a journey of improving my wellness in th

Influence - A New Journey

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  I have been thinking about INFLUENCE for quite some time. As a pastor, I met so many people who are struggling in life because of the negative influence they have received. Maybe it was when they were a child, maybe it was a bad marriage, whatever caused the pain, the influence it has on the person's life has a profound impact. I also met people who have had an incredibly positive influence on their life! A parent, youth pastor, teacher, or friend are just some of the examples of stories I have heard of individuals who played a huge part in someone's life and journey. Not only do people have an influence on us, but we also have an influence on others! It can be positive and it can be negative. The question each of us has to ask is do I want to have even more of a positive influence on the people around me? I hope for you that the answer is YES! In order to do so, we each need to battle against the negative influences of the world. Whether it's something in us that needs t

Heavenly or Earthy Wisdom

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I have a lot of strong opinions. I really do. And I have a lot of strong opinions and many, many different topics: church, pastoring, theology, family, faith, health, politics, the economy, the pandemic... and these are just the few I can easily think of. With so many topics and so many opinions, it can be a challenge to discuss them with people who hold a different viewpoint than my own. Social media algorithms have created little micro-communities based around of our opinions. You can easily find people who hold your view point, while never engaging with others from a different opinion. In fact, it can make us feel like the entire world agrees with me, so if you don't, there is something seriously wrong with you. Thoughts and viewpoints don't just simply stay in the back of our minds where we forever turn them over again and again. Eventually they all lead to action. How we talk to others. Decisions we make in our daily lives. The challenge for the follower of Jesus is this:

My Need to Focus

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Something really weird happened to me when I turned 48 years old. I began to feel OLD!  Things I've LOVED doing for years suddenly didn't bring me joy. Hobbies felt exhausting more than life-giving. My interests were shifting. And clinging to my old way of living and playing was making me feel more and more depressed and anxious. I was lacking focus. I found myself spreading myself way too thin trying to accomplish too many things! This was something that I learned about myself during my CREST Leadership Training that I had undergone for the 2 years leading up to this old feeling. I have a lot of interests and passions. Over the years I have kept adding to that list of passions and responsibilities, without re-evaluating how my time is being spent. Since January 2020 I've been on a journey of mental, spiritual, and physical health. I have come to see the interdependence between these three aspects of my life in a way that I never would have imagined. When we are weak in on

Same Storm. Different Boats.

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There's an expression that has become increasingly popular when talking about the past 15 months. While this worldwide pandemic has placed us all in the same storm, we are far from being in the same boat. For some, the past 15 months haven't really been all that bad. In fact, some would even say they have been greatly blessed by slowing their busy lives down. For others, the past 15 months have been incredibly painful in so many different ways. Illness, loss of income, mental health, isolation, family death. This storm has affected all of our lives very differently. The same is true for churches. Many factors have been at play in how churches have responded to the pandemic over the past 15 months. Things like location, building size, the average age of attendees, amount of staff, and even spiritual health of a local church, have all played a unique role in the life of each church. Every single church is different, lead by pastors and elders who are different from your church. P

Developing Godly Character

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This has been brewing in the back of my brain for some time. This is my attempt to begin working this out. I don't know about you, but I have noticed a sad and disturbing trend in social media and in a number of conversations: Christians from all walks of life seem to be getting angrier. I get it! I really do! The past 14 months have been incredibly stressful and hard on everyone. I admit, in the past year, my mind has gone to some pretty dark places. I could easily feel anger creeping up inside of me. When it does, I find comfort in the Bible that this is not who I am. Because of my new identity as a child of God thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus, I have a way of dealing with this. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, outcry and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and tenderhearted to each other, forgiving each other just as Christ forgave you. - Ephesians 4:30-32 It'