Peril: having a church full of secrets

By Emma J. Justes
Ministers are privileged to see many things as we look out over the congregation during worship. As we observe, we may note differences from what we have come to expect. We see a… read more

Reward: making a real difference

By Ann Joyner
“The church will be here for you whether he lives or dies.” Those words, delivered quietly with kindness and compassion from my first pastor, were the life-saving… read more

Gay, Christian and ... celibate: The changing face of the homosexuality debate

By Sarah Pulliam Bailey / Religion News Service
(RNS) When Julie Rodgers came out as a lesbian at age 17, her mom responded by taking her to an ex-gay ministry in Dallas. Rodgers had grown up in a nondenominational evangelical… read more

‘Rock star’ pastors lose their luster

By Tom Krattenmaker / USA Today
(RNS) It’s not easy being a celebrity pastor these days with that pesky Internet around. Consider the struggles of Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. Faced with… read more

Is pastoral counseling at risk?

By John Patton
I know of no recent research studies that can offer an answer to the question “Is pastoral counseling at risk?” Nevertheless, I want to assume in this article that… read more

Juvenile detention: Why we need alternatives

By Rebekah Jordan Gienapp
Making the Problem Worse? Journalist Nell Bernstein’s new book, “Burning Down the House,” draws from hundreds of interviews with young people in juvenile… read more

Stories of pastoral counseling

By M. Kathryn Armistead
If I preach inspiring sermons, teach like Paul, and have the wisdom of Solomon, but I don’t have love, my ministry is nothing. If I bring in hundreds of new members and… read more

Let's talk about sex: 10 questions with Bromleigh McCleneghan

By Matthew Johnson
UMC LEAD: Hi, Bromleigh. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me for UMC LEAD. Your writing is all over the place: The Christian Century, Ministry Matters, Fidelia’s… read more

Is anyone answering Iraqi Christians’ cries for help?

By Kirsten Powers / USA Today
(RNS) Iraq’s Christians are begging the world for help. Is anybody listening? Since capturing the country’s second largest city of Mosul in early June, the Islamic… read more

The headlong retreat into childhood partisanship

By Tom Ehrich / Religion News Service
When I was a child, I lived in a black-and-white world of all-this or all-that. Humankind meant my family. The world meant my neighborhood. Religion meant my church. Politics… read more

Biblical obedience and a way forward

By Roy I. Sano, Paul Franklyn
Paul Franklyn interviews retired United Methodist Bishop Roy Sano about the UMC and the conversations surrounding same-sex marriage, homosexual practice, and biblical obedience… read more

21 ways to keep a church from growing

By Ron Edmondson
I was once asked to help a church process how to get younger people to attend. After we discussed some change recommendations a man pulled me aside and said, “Son, we… read more
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