Messages: Culture is intentionally shaped as the right messages are consistently and clearly communicated to the staff, church leaders and membership

How To And Not To Support People In Pain

In the movie Regarding Henry the Harrison Ford character is a successful attorney in a prominent New York law firm. Tragically he is shot in an armed robbery leaving him unable to talk or walk. After months of physical therapy, he returns to work and his colleagues don’t know how to relate to him when his cognitive and physical limitations... Continue Reading

Could Code-switching Be Why People Aren’t Returning To Your Church?

In the 1950’s Einar Haugen coined the term “code-switching” to describe the practice of moving between multiple languages during interactions. The Harvard Business Review defined the term saying: “Broadly, code-switching involves adjusting one’s style of speech, appearance, behavior and expression in ways that will optimize the comfort of others in exchange for fair treatment, quality service and employment opportunities.” This is a... Continue Reading

There Are Only 3 Possibilities In Any Argument

Today’s church leaders are facing greater polarization and threats to church unity over an increasing number of arguable issues. In the midst of this discord, it is helpful to remember that there are really only three possibilities with any argument. This observation was made by John Stuart Mill and stated in 1859 in his treatise “On Liberty.” It was written... Continue Reading

Dream Alliance – A Tale About The Value Of Listening To The Opposition

In today’s public and private discourse listening to the opposition is considered taboo, much less yielding to their position. The possibility that we could be wrong, that we lack the necessary knowledge or experience, or that we have our own set of biases is never considered. Admitting that even a parcel of the opposition’s position is truthful is portrayed as... Continue Reading

The Three Kinds of Empathy: Emotional, Cognitive, and Compassionate

In our last post we talked about the importance for those in ministry to possess the qualities of empathy and what those qualities look like. In this article, we’re going to cover the different kinds of empathy so you can choose what is appropriate for different relationships and situations. The thing is, not all empathy looks and feels the same;... Continue Reading

What Is Empathy and Why Is It Important in Ministry?

Feeling heard and understood is a basic human need. Everyone needs to feel understood. Feeling understood is not only a basic human need but it is also how we connect, help, and support one another. If we can’t recognize someone in pain, how can we support them? For this reason, empathy is a crucial practice for those in ministry. Rutgers psychologist... Continue Reading

What Is Spiritual Bypassing and What Should Church Leaders Know About It

If you are a church leader then chances are you have at one time or another practiced spiritual bypassing, whether you are aware of it or not. What is spiritual bypassing? It is a term coined by prominent psychotherapist and author, John Welwood. He defined spiritual bypassing as using “spiritual ideas, words and practices to sidestep or avoid personal, emotional... Continue Reading

Biases That Blind And Trap Us  

A bias is typically thought of as an unreasoned or prejudicial perspective or judgement. Some biases are innocent, but most often bias is used to describe a situation where we oppose someone, some group, some belief, or something unfairly because we allow personal opinions to influence our judgement. Biases can be innate or learned and popular examples include self-serving bias, status quo... Continue Reading

January 6, 2021 In The Rearview Mirror – How Should The Church Respond?

On Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 many of us watched in unbelief as gun-toting United States citizens donned helmets and assaulted the Capitol and threatened the lives of members of Congress, the police, and the press. Immediately the finger pointing began…..at the other side, at Trump, at politicians and political parties, at lies, at unfounded conspiracies. Such finger-pointing and scapegoating is... Continue Reading