A window of opportunity is opening for congregations
Featured

A window of opportunity is opening for congregations

By Rev. Laura Stephens-Reed The Theological Education Fund of the Presbyterian Church (USA) recently noted on Facebook that 85 percent of clergy currently serving in the PC(USA) are set to retire in the next 10 years. Eighty-five percent. Let that number sink in. I’m guessing that the percentage is similar across most Protestant denominations, including … Continue reading

Considerations for congregations when moving from a full-time to a part-time pastor
Pastoral Care

Considerations for congregations when moving from a full-time to a part-time pastor

By Laura Stephens-Reed It is no secret that many churches, once pushing the fire marshal’s maximum occupancy to its limits, are now in numerical decline. I have my pick of statistics that I could cite, but here’s a particularly poignant visual from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research: The pews are no more than 38 … Continue reading

The pros and cons of hiring a member of the congregation for your church staff
Pastoral Care

The pros and cons of hiring a member of the congregation for your church staff

By Rev. Laura Stephens-Reed Many pastors are taught in seminary that a church should never hire one of its members to serve on staff, for reasons explained below. That said, ministers might enter a new-to-them context where a member is already in the role of Administrative Assistant or Director of Christian Education. And there might … Continue reading

What should your Lenten practice be? Let the Enneagram guide you.
Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling / General CBF

What should your Lenten practice be? Let the Enneagram guide you.

By Laura Stephens-Reed The Enneagram is an ancient tool that gives us a framework for understanding ourselves and others. It helps us identify the unhelpful stories we tell ourselves about who we are and about how we interact with those around us. Out of that understanding, we can name and lean into narratives that draw … Continue reading