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

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

Erich Fromm’s Six Rules Of Listening Every Minister Should Know

In his book, The Art of Listening, influential philosopher and psychologist Erich Fromm (March 23, 1900–March 18, 1980) details the techniques, dynamics, and mindsets that make for an optimal listening relationship, in therapy and in life. “Listening,” Fromm argues “is an art like the understanding of poetry” and, like any art, has its own rules and norms. Drawing on his half-century practice as a therapist,... Continue Reading

10 Ways To Live Restoratively

I believe the intent of Reconciliation as taught in the Christian Church is to be restorative —returning the individual to God, and if necessary, to a right relationship to their community, their world, and to their truest and best selves. “Confessing” what we have done wrong is an important first step, but true repair and restoration take much more than... Continue Reading

An Election Year Guide To Religion And Politics

We’ve just completed back-to-back political conventions and the election is a little more than two months from now and religion and politics has emerged as a hot topic for both Democrats and Republicans. It appears there are two primary forms of expression being use by political parties regarding religion and politics: first, seeing religion as faith in God, love of... Continue Reading

Beware, A Bigger Frame Can Be Dangerous

I respect people who enlighten and broaden my thinking on a given subject. I admire people who are ahead of me or at a different stage than I am and are willing to take the risk to challenge my current constructs and paradigms. I don’t always totally agree or buy what they say lock, stock and barrel, but retrospectively I... Continue Reading

How To Disagree Without Being Disagreeable

Have you noticed how much more disagreeing is going on now with the pervasiveness of the internet and the increased use of social media? It used to be that writers wrote and readers read. Now, the internet allows readers to respond with their own perspectives, and it seems that most who do, comment on something they disagree with. This has... Continue Reading

Learning How To Be More Open Minded

In the article What Does It Mean To Be Open Minded? we examined the definition and characteristics of open-mindedness. In this article we take a look at the benefits and steps you can take to become more open-minded. First, what are some of the benefits of being more open-minded? Gaining Insight: Challenging your existing beliefs and considering how new ideas... Continue Reading