Daily Prayer Through Psalms and Proverbs

 

Daily Prayer through
Psalms and Proverbs
Date Psalms Proverbs
1 1, 31, 61, 91, 121 1
2 2, 32, 62, 92, 122 2
3 3, 33, 63, 93, 123 3
4 4, 34, 64, 94, 124 4
5 5, 35, 65, 95, 125 5
6 6, 36, 66, 96, 126 6
7 7, 37, 67, 97, 127 7
8 8, 38, 68, 98, 128 8
9 9, 39, 69, 99, 129 9
10 10, 40, 70, 100, 130 10
11 11, 41, 71, 101, 131 11
12 12, 42, 72, 102, 132 12
13 13, 43, 73, 103, 133 13
14 14, 44, 74, 104, 134 14
15 15, 45, 75, 105, 135 15
16 16, 46, 76, 106, 136 16
17 17, 47, 77, 107, 137 17
18 18, 48, 78, 108, 138 18
19 19, 49, 79, 109, 139 19
20 20, 50, 80, 110, 140 20
21 21, 51, 81, 111, 141 21
22 22, 52, 82, 112, 142 22
23 23, 53, 83, 123, 143 23
24 24, 54, 84, 114, 144 24
25 25, 55, 85, 115, 145 25
26 26, 56, 85, 116, 146 26
27 27, 57, 87, 117, 147 27
28 28, 58, 88, 118, 148 28
29 29, 59, 89, 119, 149 29
30 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 30
31 Readers choice 31

 

A Practitioner’s View of BiVocational Ministry

NOTE: the following is a guest post from friend and colleague Dennis Lundblad. Dennis serves as the Pastor and blogs at Sojourner Church in Asheville, NC and Lecturer in Humanities at UNCA.


A Reply to “Some Thoughts on Bivocational Ministry”

I have been a bi-vocational minister for about seven years. I am fortunate in that I have found a way to earn money by doing something that I really love while still being able to serve the Church as a pastor. This topic has come up more and more in recent years, and it has been interesting to observe the different approaches people take to the question of bi-vocational ministry.Some folks see bi-vocational ministry as the inevitable future of the church. The shrinking value of stagnant wages for most people ensures that churches and other charitable organizations receive less and less money in contributions, and that the contributions they do receive can buy less and less. If we can’t do anything about the economic issue (wage stagnation, income inequality, high unemployment) then fewer and fewer congregations will be able to pay a full-time salary to pastors. In this view, bi-vocational ministry is a thing the church must face as an unpleasant reality.

Others see bi-vocational ministry as something to be fought against; it’s a compromise that devalues the professional education of seminary-trained clergy and contributes to the further decline of the institutional church. Congregations need full-time, seminary-trained pastors more than ever, and rather than accept part-time and under-trained ministers as the new status quo, congregations must dig deeper, renew efforts in evangelism and devote more resources to caring for the ministers who care for them.

Still others see bi-vocational ministry as neither a sad inevitability nor a problem to be avoided. Bi-vocational ministry can be a positive choice even for those who are seminary graduates. It seems to me that the changing nature of the Church may require more people who earn their living doing something other than ministry so that congregations can find their purpose and vision for ministry without money and finances as the primary driver of decision-making. The founders of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) didn’t desire to designate clergy as a separate class of people; when I was in seminary (Lexington Theological Seminary, class of ’87), most of the professors were ordained clergy, but none of them had the title “The Reverend” on the nameplates of their office doors. I was told that this was because of our tradition of not buying in to the idea of a “clergy class,” which in frontier days was viewed (and justly so) with a fair amount of suspicion. I am a volunteer pastor; it allows me to connect with my parishioners in a direct way (I used to hear fairly often about what I would understand if I actually “worked for a living” as my parishioners did) without fear that my income (already less than that of a seasoned public school teacher) would suffer if I didn’t see things their way. It’s a very liberating thing not to worry about folks in the church using my salary as a lever or a wedge. The emotional systems of congregations can’t seem to resist using money to increase anxiety and lower the challenges of the pastoral vision.

I’m not worried that the Church is dying, as some are…the institutional church may be in decline, but the Church Invisible is not in decline, in my view. It is, however, changing, and if our approach to ministry is dependent on the institutional model of the last few hundred years, and if we see full-time ministry with salary and benefits as the best way to fulfill the calling of the contemporary congregation, then at the very least our congregations and denominations had better make a priority of addressing income inequality, because that’s what is desiccating our institutions.

On the other hand, if we see smaller congregations with greater involvement in the community as the best fulfillment of God’s expectations for the contemporary church, then we should do a few things:

1. Make seminary free. It’s hard to consider part-time or volunteer ministry if there’s an enormous debt-load to worry about.

2. Find a way to make retirement and health insurance for part-time and volunteer pastors a priority. I have had very little opportunity to contribute to my retirement accounts in the last ten years or so, and I suspect other bi-vocational ministers have some trouble with that, too. And don’t even get me started about health insurance.

3. Change the way we label seminary classes so that our 90-hour advanced degree will be recognized as having value to secular employers who don’t know much about the Church or the Master of Divinity. Identify “homiletics” as “public speaking,” “church administration” as “non-profit management,” “church history” as “history,” and so forth. If we are expecting pastors to get secular jobs, then our advanced degree should help, rather than hinder, that effort.

Some thoughts on bivocational ministry

Back then (almost 15 years ago),
we weren’t talking much about bivocational ministries.

Bivocational chuck lawless (2)I came across this blog from Chuck Lawless on Tom Rainer’s site. He provides some compelling reasons for promoting bivocational ministry. BVM is nothing new to pastors among racial/ethnic and poorer communities, along with certain streams of pentecostal and charismatic churches.

For me the most telling sentence is the one quoted above. Something dramatic has happened in the last 15-20 years. The landscape of the historic mainline and mainstream evangelical churches has shifted dramatically, as a part of the much larger and broader changes taking place across our modern/postmodern world. Those are too many to catalog here. What we do need to recognize is how significant the shift has been and how it impacts clergy incomes and relationships to congregations.

I graduated with my Master of Divinity in 1996, and it never occurred to any of us (at least not straight white guys – no, there’s also not room to unpack all of that here) that we would struggle to find a life giving and meaningful ministry staff position where we could support ourselves and our families. Only a few years later and the majority of seminary students ought to be thinking seriously about a parallel or alternative source of income, and one preferably that they can also see as a meaningful contribution to the world and God’s reign.

Questions:

  • How are we helping current and prospective seminary students prepare themselves for this new reality with hope and expectation, not a defeatist “well, if I have to…” attitude?
  • How are we helping congregations think differently about their expectations visavis the roles of clergy and laity in ministry leadership?
  • How are we helping current clergy adjust who, like myself, were not trained or prepared for any career options outside of a local congregation?

 

Public Launch of my Ministry Formation Courses

Atlanta Divinity Center 1Bob  Harris (Atlanta United Divinity Center) is getting everything set up in the exhibit hall at the 2013 General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada. Second column from the left lists “Faculty” – my name is the 5th from the top! Course outlines are finished and have been sent to Bill Anderton at TransformingTheChurch.org. My pages should go live sometime soon so you can begin registering. In the meantime, please contact me with any questions or to reserve your spot. Registration is limited to sign up soon.

WBECS Coaching Summit

I’m writing this because I know you value life-long learning and sharpening your own leadership and coaching skills.

The World Business and Executive Coach Summit (WBECS) begins on June 12th.  There are very few companies in the world that give away as much complimentary content as WBECS does, they do so because they have a commitment to the development and success of the coaches across the world. You can probably feel their passion.

Now is the time to make a decision on whether you are committed to:
a) Your development as a coach.
b) The development of your clients.

If the answer is yes, then please purchase your early bird ticket here: https://modernmethods.infusionsoft.com/go/2013ticket/kckc
Highest quality of training for all levels
WBECS offers high standards of training for coaches of all levels, with specialist focus on growing your client-base, increasing referrals, improving your coaching skills and transforming your business by delivering significantly better results for your clients.

Specifically, the Summit is designed for coaches that fall into any of these groups:

*The Start-Up Coach: You’ve just begun your coaching journey and are looking to develop your coaching curriculum, method of delivery, and marketing system.  At the Summit, you’ll learn how to reach critical mass fast.

•The Break-Even Coach: You’re at a point in your coaching career where losing a couple of clients means trouble, while gaining a couple of clients means comfort. You’re looking at growing from being a good coach to a great coach. At the summit, you’ll learn how to stop the ‘feast or famine’ cycle by learning how to deliver higher quality coaching, helping you acquire and retain clients more effectively.

* The Next-Level Coach: You’ve already built a successful coaching business, and now you want to leverage your experience and content. You are looking for advanced coaching skills that take your clients to the next level and in the process take your 6 and multi 6 figure income to a high 6 and 7 figure income.

When you register for a Full Event Ticket you gain access to the entire two-week Live Online Event PLUS recordings of every session to watch offline or download and watch offline. You also get all materials for each session that applies: including transcripts, audio, slides and you also will be able to network virtually inside the member portal.

Check out the full lineup and agenda here: https://modernmethods.infusionsoft.com/go/agenda/kckc

This is your last chance as the Early Bird Pricing Expires May 31st Register Now for Priority Access and Save $400

EXTENDED EARLY BIRD RATE BEFORE May 31st $297
REGULAR RATE AFTER May 31st $697

Who is presenting at WBECS?

The online coaching event of the year will be bring together the world’s best coaching specialists and thought leaders to help drive the coaching industry forward, raise ethics and standards and improve the success rates of coaches both in your country and across the world.

Experts include:

Jay Abraham,                Dr. Marshall Goldsmith
John C. Maxwell          Frances Hesselbein
Daniel H. Pink               Pam McLean
Brendon Burchard      Verne Harnish
Katherine Tulpa           Karen Kimsey-House
Mary Beth O’Neill        Damian Goldvarg
Ago Cluytens               Susan Meyer
Aileen Gibb                  Hendre D. Coetzee
Andrea Lages              Howard Morgan
Andrew Neitlich          John Leary Joyce
Ann Betz                      Joseph O’Connor
Barry Posner               Krishna Kumar
Brian Underhill            Marvin Oka
Darren Robson           Myles Downey
Drayton Boyleston      Michael Bungay Stanier
Donna Steinhorn        Natalie Tucker Miller
Gary Henson               Patrick Williams
Grant Soosalu             Renee Freedman
Taki Moore

*CCE units for International Coaching Federation members

56.5 Hours CCE Units  =  30.5 Core Competencies and 26 Resource Development.

Available for pre-summit and Full Summit sessions. CCEUs can be earned through recordings although Any Core Competency session watched as a recording earns a Resource Development unit. Watched live it earns a core competency unit.

Complimentary Pre-Summit Final Week of May 2013

There is still a final last week of sessions from May 27- 30, which are all complimentary. These free sessions are perfect for you to get a taste of the high level of thought leadership from our industry.  There are five free sessions to attend this last week of May. Attend them here https://modernmethods.infusionsoft.com/go/presummit/kckc

We have a commitment to your development as a coach. Be sure to have a commitment to yourself too and join us for the Full Summit in June

Purchase your early bird ticket here: https://modernmethods.infusionsoft.com/go/2013ticket/kckc

If you have any questions at all WBECS team is on standby for you. Email ben@wbecs.com, sherrie@wbecs.com or nina@wbecs.com with any queries you have.

The team at WBECS has an absolute commitment to having a profound impact on the success of Business and Executive Coaches the world over. Please give them the opportunity to have a profound impact on your coaching success through their summit, if they don’t you can ask for your money back.

Kind regards,

Ken Crawford
214-288-1663
http://www.SynchronousLife.com
LinkedIn: kengcrawford
Twitter: @KenGCrawford
Facebook: KenGCrawfordCoaching