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As increasing numbers of young women are discerning a call to ministry, entering seminary, graduating, and searching for the call to a parish or other ministry setting, they need to be aware of the realities that face them. The Girlfriends' Clergy Companion is about the nitty gritty of ministry for young female clergy—how to maintain a sense of personal style, what it's really like to be a solo pastor, how to date, what to do when they're ready to quit. The authors met in 2008 at a gathering of young women who serve as pastors. Since then, they have been meeting monthly to develop a 'young girlfriends network' and to support one another in their ministries. In their conversations, they heard one another talking about what they wished they had known before beginning ministry. Those yearnings gave rise to this book. The authors discuss the call process and the ministry situations in which young women most commonly find themselves serving as a solo pastor and as an associate. Additional chapters explore personal style, the single life, relationships, children, and self-care, as well as challenges pastors, particularly new pastors, often face. Each chapter ends with 'The Girlfriends' Checklist,' a summary of strategies to help young women be happier and more effective ministers.
If you are eager to learn how to gain greater awareness and understanding about the layers-of-truth and the often hidden facets of being female and clergy, this is the book for you! Discover the diamonds on each page as the author uses humor, wisdom, scriptures, and brief narratives to bring fresh sparkle to topics such as: -hearing a calling from God in a changing and sometimes biased society -balancing busy schedules -living into self-care -embracing forgiveness -being mentored and mentoring others in ministry -networking with male and female clergy colleagues and community leaders -negotiating benefits and salaries -keeping healthy sexual boundaries -maximizing play time with family and friends -learning quick tips for fashion, clothing, hairstyles, and even make-up It is the author's prayer that women in ministry, their families, colleagues, and faith communities will read and then be made more sensitive to the ways that all of us can support each other in our journeys to becoming even more brilliant in God's eyes.
We are not all the same. The time has come for us to honestly name the ways we are different and similar so that we can serve together in unity, grace and trust. Women in ministry experience unique challenges in their church settings which continue to hinder their vocational, professional, and personal success. Women in ministry need a trusted and comprehensive resource not only to be able to survive but to thrive in their places of call. She provides theoretical, theological, and practical frameworks and strategies for flourishing as a woman in ministry and engages critical reflection on the practice of ministry in light of current feminist theory, biblical interpretation, and experience. Covering everything from biblical arguments for and against women in the church to what not to wear, this book offers background information and tools for negotiating the many and varied issues that woman in ministry face, including leadership, the authority and office of the clergy, and structures and power in the church. A trusted and comprehensive resource for women in ministry, equipping them to thrive in their places of call, and for the men who serve alongside them.
Many congregations are experiencing significant change both within and beyond their walls, and both members and leaders feel a sense of loss in the midst of these changes. In the midst of change, loss, and grief, congregations yearn for leadership--typically with differing expectations of what constitutes effective leadership in response to their needs, hopes, and priorities. At the same time, congregations resist leadership. After all, leadership assumes those who follow will be open to more change. Strategic Leadership for a Change provides congregational leaders with new insights and tools for understanding the relationships among change, attachment, loss, and grief. It also helps to facilitate the process of grieving, comprehend the centrality of vision, and demonstrate theological reflection in the midst of change, loss, grief, and attaching anew. All this occurs as the congregation aligns its vision with God's and understands processes of change as processes of fulfillment.
Carol Howard Merritt, a pastor in her mid-thirties, suggests a different way for churches to be able to approach young adults on their own terms. Outlining the financial, social, and familial situations that affect many young adults today, she describes how churches can provide a safe, supportive place for young adults to nurture relationships and foster spiritual growth. There are few places left in society that allow for real intergenerational connections to be made, yet these connections are vital for any church that seeks to reflect the fullness of the body of Christ. Carol Howard Merritt, a pastor in her mid-thirties, suggests a different way for churches to be able to approach young adults on their own terms. Outlining the financial, social, and familial situations that affect many young adults today, she describes how churches can provide a safe, supportive place for young adults to nurture relationships and foster spiritual growth. There are few places left in society that allow for real intergenerational connections to be made, yet these connections are vital for any church that seeks to reflect the fullness of the body of Christ. Using the metaphor of a tribe to describe the close bonds that form when people of all ages decide to walk together on their spiritual journeys, Merritt casts a vision of the church that embraces the gifts of all members while reaching out to those who might otherwise feel unwelcome or unneeded. Mainline churches have much to offer young adults, as well as much to learn from them. By breaking down artificial age barriers and building up intentional relationships, congregations can provide a space for all people to connect with God, each other, and the world.
Great ministers don't just happen. Great falls from ministry don't just happen either. A complex mix of factors both internal and external test the limits of your ability to minister wholeheartedly over the long haul. Senior pastor Brad Hoffmann and licensed professional counselor Michael Todd Wilson work with pastors removed from their place of service. The common experiences of these pastors revealed patterns that consistently contributed to burnout, ineffectiveness and moral failure. If such patterns can be predicted, the authors reasoned, can they be prevented? Preventing Ministry Failure is a personal guidebook for pastors and other caregivers to prepare them to withstand common pressures and to flourish in the ministry God has called them to. Work through the exercises and reflections individually or in conversation with your peers, and you'll find yourself better equipped for the challenges of vocational ministry, and more conscious of the presence of God leading you on and restoring your soul.
D. A. Carson's father was a pioneering church-planter and pastor in Quebec. But still, an ordinary pastor-except that he ministered during the decades that brought French Canada from the brutal challenges of persecution and imprisonment for Baptist ministers to spectacular growth and revival in the 1970s. It is a story, and an era, that few in the English-speaking world know anything about. But through Tom Carson's journals and written prayers, and the narrative and historical background supplied by his son, readers will be given a firsthand account of not only this trying time in North American church history, but of one pastor's life and times, dreams and disappointments. With words that will ring true for every person who has devoted themselves to the Lord's work, this unique book serves to remind readers that though the sacrifices of serving God are great, the sweetness of living a faithful, obedient life is greater still.

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