MLCI Recommended Readings

Flourishing in Ministry and the Ministry Life Choices Initiative

An ongoing list of things to read, resources to discover, websites to peruse and video clips to watch on clergy health and well-being.

 Please check back quarterly for updates.

June, 2014Please find below more detailed information regarding the Flourishing in Ministry project and how it relates to MLCI at LTS.

****

The work of the Ministry Life Choices Initiative (MLCI) is, as noted elsewhere, born out of results and implications from the Flourishing in Ministry Project, directed by Dr. Matt Bloom, housed at Notre Dame University and funded through the Lilly Endowment.

FIM’s home is located here. A regular visit to the site is worth your time and effort, as site administrators continually update information and resources regarding the project and its continuing work.

Of particular note is the Flourishing Fresh Feed, accessible from the home page and featuring a rolling list of various news regarding wellbeing for clergy, for families, in the workplace, etc.

We welcome your thoughts. We invite your questions. We encourage your support and advocacy of both FIM and MLCI–together, between the two, there is the possibility for a new way of being for clergy and congregations.

Please be in touch with Julie Richardson Brown, Advancement Associate, at jbrown@lextheo.edu should you want to know more.

Online Resources

An ongoing list of things to read, resources to discover, websites to peruse and video clips to watch on clergy health and well-being.

 Please check back monthly for updates. If you would like to suggest resources for this page, please email jbrown@lextheo.edu.

March, 2014Please find below a list of websites focused around clergy health and well-being. We remain grateful to the Pension Fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for making MLCI and its work possible.

****

Matt Bloom’s foundational research and work can be found here at the Flourishing in Ministry Project’s homepage. Dr. Bloom’s work feeds and informs what happens with the MLCI project at Lexington Theological Seminary, as well as other conversations across denominational lines and clergy contexts.

The Alban Institute — From the website: “The Alban Institute is an independent center of learning and leadership development with a focus on congregations. Located in greater Washington, D.C., Alban is a not-for-profit, membership organization that develops and shares knowledge through consulting, publishing, research, and education programs.”

The Center for Pastoral Excellence (located at Christian Theological Seminary) — From the website: “…a strategic initiative at Christian Theological Seminary to address the long arc of ministry — from vocational discernment to seminary training to sustaining outstanding ministers and pastors in their ongoing work. The Center was established in the summer of 2012 with generous initial funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. It includes an array of programs that together offer a flexible and responsive model for theological education.”

The Well-Fed Spirit — The website’s creator and webmaster is The Reverend Warren Lynn, Executive Minister for Christian Vocations for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). You’ll find there at host of ideas for spiritual practice and wellness.

What are other resources do YOU know about?

An ongoing list of things to read, resources to discover, websites to peruse and video clips to watch on clergy health and well-being.

 Please check back monthly for updates. If you would like to suggest resources for this page, please email jbrown@lextheo.edu.

February, 2014–Below are some of the favorite books on clergy health, well-being and self-care as offered up via social media by a variety of pastors. These men and women represent varying denominations, theologies and ministry contexts. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list, rather, a sampling of what happens when you ask clergy, “Hey, what are the things you’ve read that help you not just survive, but thrive in ministry?”

 (NOTE: We found most of these for sale at various prices at Amazon!)

The Right Road: Life Choices for Clergy, Gwen Wagstrom Halaas

Becoming a Blessed Church, E. Stanley Ott

The Contemplative Pastor, Eugene Peterson

Under the Predictable Plant, Eugene Peterson

Clergy Self-Care: Finding a Balance for Effective Ministry, Roy Oswald

Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self, Richard Rohr

Leading on Empty, Wayne Cordeiro

This Odd and Wondrous Calling, Lillian Daniel and Martin Copenhaver

The Leader’s Journey: Accepting the Call to Personal and Congregational Transformation, Jim Herrington, Robert Creech, and Trisha L. Taylor

The Road to Daybreak, Henri Nouwen

In the Name of Jesus, Henri Nouwen

Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Leading, Ronald A. Heifitz and Marty Linksy

The Competent Pastor: Skills and Self-Knowledge for Serving Well, Ronald Sisk

All Shall Be Well: An Approach to Wellness, William S. Craddock, Jr., ed.

Awakened to a Calling: Reflections on the Vocation of Ministry, Ann M. Svennungsen and Melissa Wiginton, eds.

Open Secrets, David Lischer

Becoming the Pastor You Hope to Be: Four Practices for Improving Ministry, Barbara J. Blodgett

The following are a collection of books centered around Family Systems Theory, recommended by one particular pastor who has a self-care practice of meeting regularly with a group that studies FST:

Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue,Edwin H. Friedman

Becoming a Healthier Pastor: Family Systems Theory and the Pastor’s Own Family, Ronald W. Richardson

Congregational Leadership in Anxious Times: Being Calm and Courageous No Matter What, Peter L. Steinke

How Your Church Family Works: Understanding Congregations as Emotional Systems, Peter L. Steinke

Healthy Congregations: A Systems Approach, Peter L. Steinke

Extraordinary Relationships: A New Way of Thinking About Human Interactions, Roberta M. Gilbert

Creating a Healthier Church: Family Systems Theory, Leadership and Congregational Life, Ronald W. Richardson