Why bringing in young families is not a magic bullet for your congregation
General CBF / Pastoral Care

Why bringing in young families is not a magic bullet for your congregation

By Laura Stephens-Reed I have heard it many times in congregations experiencing stagnation or decline: If we could just bring in more young families… This is an understandable thought. For churches with nurseries that once burst at the seams or with memories of youth choirs that went on tour in the summers, bringing in more … Continue reading

Becoming a hybrid congregation
General CBF / Pastoral Care

Becoming a hybrid congregation

By Laura Stephens-Reed Two years ago the world locked down, seemingly overnight, due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. Many congregations went from having a website and a minimal social media presence, which sometimes included recordings or livestreams of worship, to creating online community wholly through previously utilized and new-to-them media. Churches pivoted again and … Continue reading

Identifying Your Church’s Values and Using Them to Plan
General CBF / Pastoral Care

Identifying Your Church’s Values and Using Them to Plan

By Laura Stephens-Reed I recently interviewed several pastors about their experiences leading congregations during the pandemic. Specifically, I wanted to know how they handled the initial turn to online worship and the million mini-ministry pivots they’ve had to make in the two years since. Unsurprisingly, all these pastors are exhausted. But not all are discouraged. … Continue reading

Why pastoral care is so complicated right now and how church members can make sure they get the care they need.
Pastoral Care

Why pastoral care is so complicated right now and how church members can make sure they get the care they need.

Rev. Laura Stephens-Reed Many pastors go into ministry because they love people. They consider your willingness to trust them with your stories a privilege. They want to hold your hand when you have gotten bad news. They celebrate alongside you at milestone moments. Pastoral care is not just part of ministers’ job descriptions. It is … Continue reading

Young pastor in Flint, Michigan, focuses on mental health amid pandemic and ongoing water crisis
Featured / Fellowship! Magazine / Pastoral Care

Young pastor in Flint, Michigan, focuses on mental health amid pandemic and ongoing water crisis

by Andrew Nash It is always hard to take on a new role as a senior pastor in your 20s, but there is an added degree of difficulty when doing so during a global pandemic. There’s even more of a challenge doing so in Flint, Mich., site of a water crisis that has had lasting … Continue reading

To Everything There is a Season
Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling

To Everything There is a Season

Since 1985, the Network on Ministry in Specialized Settings (“COMISS”) has observed the last week of October as Spiritual Care Week – a time when we celebrate the sacred work of chaplains and pastoral counselors. This year’s Spiritual Care Week theme is “Collaborative Healthcare: Chaplains Complete the Picture.” Sometimes a picture is more informative and revealing than words. Often … Continue reading

Pastoral Care & COVID-19: Baptist Seminary of Kentucky offers 6-session online workshop series
bold faith / Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling / COVID-19

Pastoral Care & COVID-19: Baptist Seminary of Kentucky offers 6-session online workshop series

Ministers, deacons and congregational care-givers are facing a surge in the need for pastoral care—yet many of the ways we have offered care in the past are no longer possible. How do we address our anxiety over having to adapt to new ways of doing things; navigating physical danger; financial struggles; and other things we … Continue reading

Drowning in an Ocean of Depression: A Conversation with Ryan Noel Fraser
Pastoral Care / Podcast

Drowning in an Ocean of Depression: A Conversation with Ryan Noel Fraser

By Andy Hale  Over the past two decades, the use of antidepressants has skyrocketed. One in six Americans now takes an antidepressant medication. Nearly 40% of Americans reported in 2018 that they were more anxious than in the years past. Almost 18% of the American population has an anxiety disorder. Three out of four Americans … Continue reading