The Balancing Act of Ministry

by Rev. Laurie Metzko, LTS Class of 2014 When I think of what challenges I might experience as my life as a minister grows and changes, I suspect they won't be much different than the things I'm already experiencing – maintaining clear boundaries, finding “me-time," and being able to say “no” when needed. To date I have been a part-time minister working at balancing ministry along with my full-time secular job as a bookkeeper, my life as a wife and a mom of two grown sons, and... Read More

Caring for Vocation and Self

By Rev. Kyle McDougall, Resident Minister, Central Christian Church, Lexington, Ky. As a young clergy person in transition to my next call, I’m excited and a little bit scared. Moving to a new town where my husband and I know no one is pretty stressful. In a situation like this, I assume that it will be easy to let the work of the church take up most of my time. But, entering into this new call I want to set healthy boundaries so that I continue to love my vocation while also taking care... Read More

Healthy Clergy/Healthy Churches: Finding a Balance

Brian and his wife, Rev. Carrie Gerard by Brian Gerard, Senior Minister, First Christian Church of Louisville My first full-time call as a local church pastor was almost my last. Within one week of my arrival I was called a racially charged epithet during a meeting.  Certain that I had said something to provoke the event, the elders of the church asked that I apologize to the one who said it. To be sure I handled the conversation appropriately, the chair of the elders accompanied... Read More

Cultivate. Cherish. Protect.

Denise by A. Denise Bell, Regional Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Georgia Cultivate, cherish, and protect your call to ministry. It was one afternoon after a series of late night meetings, hospital visits, and yet another rote ministry function. I was exhausted, and unimpressed with the small group that hung behind to debrief the ministry event. From a deep place, I heard myself say, "Ministry to me has become like a faded love in a marriage that has waxed... Read More

What Keeps Me At It

Sharon by the Reverend Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) The first time I recognized the lag was some time into pastoring my first congregation. The sermons were getting harder to germinate. The typical grousing of a family church - where the families did not always get along - was bothering me more than usual. I was starting to visualize ministry as fire-fighting on a burning roof with only burlap bags to beat off the flames of... Read More

Surviving (Thriving) Advent, Part 2

by Dustin Hite, M. Div., 2010, Christian Theological Seminary, and Promise Road Campus Pastor, Geist Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Indianapolis, IN  Dustin In our family, the Advent/Christmas season doesn’t officially begin until two things have happened:  (1) we decorate the Christmas tree—my children delicately placing the ornaments on various branches, and (2) the annual reading of Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree (a tradition that dates back to my early childhood days,... Read More

Surviving (Thriving) Advent, Part 1

By Rev. Dr. Mandye C. Yates Minister, First Christian Church (DOC), New Castle, IN Mandye How do I find room for the holy with myself and my family during the chaos of leading a congregation through Advent? That’s a fantastic question! It is a conscious effort to find room for the holy most any time while doing full time ministry, but it’s especially difficult during the Advent season. Even though several committees and teams take a break from meetings during the month of... Read More

Reverend Mama, Part 4 (Bread and Cupcakes)

The latest edition of the MLCI series seeks to incorporate the voices of those who are both “Reverend” and “Mommy.” There’s many of us out there, in a wide variety of contexts and each with our own celebrations and challenges. We are grateful to the three Disciples pastors who have volunteered to share their reflections with us for this particular discussion, and seek to honor each one’s story as that — HER story, and not necessarily a definitive statement on what it means to... Read More

Reverend Mama, Part 3 (Dena’s Eyes Sparkle)

The latest edition of the MLCI series seeks to incorporate the voices of those who are both “Reverend” and “Mommy.” There’s many of us out there, in a wide variety of contexts and each with our own celebrations and challenges. We are grateful to the three Disciples pastors who have volunteered to share their reflections with us for this particular discussion, and seek to honor each one’s story as that — HER story, and not necessarily a definitive statement on what it means to... Read More

Reverend Mama, Part 2 (Reverend Cara Gilger)

The latest edition of the MLCI series seeks to incorporate the voices of those who are both “Reverend” and “Mommy.” There’s many of us out there, in a wide variety of contexts and each with our own celebrations and challenges. We are grateful to the three Disciples pastors who have volunteered to share their reflections with us for this particular discussion, and seek to honor each one’s story as that — HER story, and not necessarily a definitive statement on what it means to... Read More