Essays

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As pastors, and as Christians, we all learn different things at different times. Some of the things that we learn are very simple, and others are quite complex. As this site progresses we will be looking for full length essays on a variety of topics that are meaningful to pastors, from pastors who have been there. If you have a topic you would like to contribute, please feel free. Just add a new page, and post your essay.

Please note that none of this should be viewed as authoritative advice. It is not from experts or professional laywers/tax men/etc. If any this advice is proved to be inadequate or wrong we apologize, but please do not assume it is infallible. Use it as a starting point, not an ending one.



Informational

These are the essays that teach on specific issues that are relevant to pastors. These essays are open to be edited by anyone because the purpose of the essay is to present a balanced and helpful position on important issues.


Finances

Housing Allowance - One of the biggest financial perks pastors have is the housing allowance. Here are some very brief thoughts on the subject to get a new pastor started.


General Church

Starting a Church Library - Revitalizing or beginning a new library in the church, especially in a smaller church, can be a daunting task. Here are some ideas.

Theology of the Sanctuary - Our buildings, and how we use them, speak volumes to our people. We need to make sure that what our sanctuaries are telling our people are what we want them to hear.


Liability/Legal Issues

Accountability Documents - Consent forms, permission slips, and waivers are all very important to have. But when to use them, what they should look like, and what is needed, are all a bit complicated. This essay deals with the basics of permission slips, and provides examples of several types.

Incorporation - Whether to incorporate a church or not is a big question today, let alone the process itself. This essay deals with some of the main issues dealingw ith incorporation.


Pastor/Church Relations

The Pastoral Search - In most denominations, when a new pastor is being called, there is an interview process. Making sure that we both give and receive an accurate picture is crucial.

Pastoring on Facebook - Social Networking sites are dominating the lives of many people today, especially youth. But many pators do not use this resource to the fullest, allowing a valuable tool to be neglected.

Pornography and the Church - We all wish this wasn't a problem, but it is. It's a problem for pastors, youth who use the computer, and board members. This is an essay looking at some ways to safeguard the church and the people involved from this problem.


Special Occasions

Advent Worship Guide - This is a booklet to walk families through the season of advent in a meaningful way. It was written by Dr. Gary Waller, a long time pastor and professor.

Christmas Myths - You would think that since we celebrate Christmas so much we would know it and the scriptures about it well. But there are dozens of myths about Jesus' birth that we simply accept without thinking about and many are in fact heresies.

Wedding Ideas - Many people are going for less traditional wedding ideas, or incorporating new ideas into traditional services. Here are some ideas for meaningful things to do within a wedding ceremony.


Volunteers/Staff

Expectations for Volunteers - Communicating clearly what you expect from those who volunteer is a requirement for the volunteers and for your ministry to function smoothly.

Internship Programs - Those people who are entering into ministry are often seeking a place to serve, especially during the summer months. This can be a very low cost way to not only help out a future leader but gain a dedicated and skilled staff member over the summer for little cost.


Opinion Essays

This is the place for essays that present a specific opinion on a given topic. Please do not edit these essays. These might be controversial essays, but they are people's opinions. If you wish to add a contrary opinion, please do so, but start a new page.

Teaching through Experience - This is a brief essay on what experiential learning is, why we should be trying to use it, and how to do so in the Church.

The Wiki Church - What would the Church look like if it was based on a wiki model instead of a CEO model? Is there Christian backing for such a model?




Finally, we are opening this page up to all pastors and asking you to finish this sentence:

if there is one thing I've learned while pastoring, it's...

  • ...That grumpy people will be grumpy. - Pastor Gary W. (Idaho)
  • ...Listen, Learn, Love, and Lead. They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. - Pastor John C. (California)
  • ...That I need to be able to effectively adapt the Message of Christ to the specific context and people I encounter. -Pastor William B. (Idaho)
  • ...That in every church there are people who are so influential that even though their needs are not extraordinary, the time we spend with them must be if we want to have enough influence and support to effectively lead. Our time can't be spent equally to get results, it must be spent where it does the most good. -Pastor Brian M. (California)
  • ...That I can't let my personal time with God slip or be replaced with preparing for teaching or preaching. I can't share what I don't have. -Pastor Brenda N. (Alaska)
  • ...That if we don't have God's presence we're just wasting our time. No amount of preaching, teaching, or lessons will make up for that. -Pastor Jeran M. (Alaska)
  • ...That if it pleases you to please God, you can do as you please. -Pastor Gary W. (Idaho)
  • ...That I need to have a passion to reach lost and broken people for God. These people matter to God and they should matter to me because of that. -Pastor Keith W. (Oregon)
  • ...that we need to know the difference between performing and waiting on God, so that we can give from our life and not our knowledge. -Pastor Dick E. (Alabama)