For Pastors

3 Ways to Avoid Compassion Fatigue

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By Mark Dance Our love for God fuels genuine compassion for others, but sometimes our fuel runs out. When compassion fatigue sets in on pastors, you can see it in their eyes and hear it in their voices. While tough seasons of ministry are inevitable, do they really have to be open-ended? If you’re in a ministry sprint that never ends, you need to ask yourself whether you’re actually sprinting or merely surviving. Pastors who love and lead on empty may…

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Why I Never Try to Balance Family and Ministry

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By Bob Hostelter It’s one of the most frequent questions I field, and it’s always asked so sincerely, even desperately: “How do you balance ministry and family?” My answer: I don’t. In fact, I think the very question reveals the problem. There IS no balance. It is NOT an either/or issue. There’s nothing to balance. And thinking that there is is a problem in and of itself. I say to young men and women considering or embarking upon ministry, “Your family…

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Faith and Depression

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By Scott Hoezee The prevalence of depression is increasing in our world today. You might have experience with depression personally or there’s a good chance you know someone who does. As Christians, this difficult reality often leads us to wrestle with our faith. We might wonder: spiritually, is depression a sign of weak faith? Are there Scripture passages that help? We also might feel at a loss, unsure what to do or to say to reach out to someone who…

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How to Sabbath As a Pastor

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By Mike Osborne I recently retired from pastoral ministry and took on a new challenge as Dean of Students at a theological seminary. Now relieved of the responsibilities of church work, I’ve been reflecting on my thirty-two year pastoral career. One of the things I’ve been stunned to realize is just how much those years were filled with anxiety and frantic ambition instead of “the peace that passes understanding” that we Christians talk about. Looking back, I wish I had “Sabbathed”…

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The Place I Find Myself

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By Mike Osborne “Who are you?” It was 1973. I was a 19-year old student at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, eating lunch with friends. Stephanie—serious, inquisitive, known for deeply diving into matters of the heart—was sitting to my right in the dining hall. As I munched on my dry hamburger I could tell she was staring at me. I glanced over at the eyes that were looking into me. She asked again, “Who are you?” I thought: What do I say? Friends…

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