Healthy Churches Have Mission Clarity

by Doug Peters The Optometrist was clear… my vision was not! I was surprised. Frankly, I had inadvertently become accustomed to how things were. Over time, a lack of clarity and focus became my normal. So, it took an intentional process with a qualified resource to diagnose, prescribe and implement steps to bring a vibrant […]

Hiring a Youth Minister! Creativity During a Minister Shortage

By Lance Parrish After concluding a (successful!) five-month search for a new children’s minister, I found myself reflecting upon the process and experience. During the search, our team reached out to several authorities within the Church of Christ brotherhood to seek advice, drum up potential candidate names, and get a finger on the pulse of […]

You Don’t Have To Quit…BUT you may have to finish.

Adapted from: TOMBSTONES to CORNERSTONES  By Rick Krug  Hope and Help for Churches in Stress and Decline Jason sat across from me at the dinner table with others and said, “Our congregation just keeps getting smaller and I don’t know how much longer we can hold out.  I feel like we are just giving up […]


The language of trauma has become a part of our general consciousness, but the church has been slower to engage in the questions and challenges that are raised by our increasing awareness of how trauma shapes and misshapes both people and communities. As a theologian who works centers around these questions these are ten (though […]

The Congregation as Patient

By Greg Anderson (Ed.D.) Many years ago, Dr. John Savage posed the following question during a seminar I was attending, “If your congregation were a patient and you were her primary physician, what is your diagnosis when evaluating her health?” I love the analogy and think it provides a framework for church leaders to examine […]

Reflections On Leadership and Suffering

By Grady King I am not boasting. I spend a great deal of time listening to church leaders—of providing encouragement, admonishment, and at times, rebuke. The list of church leaders who are in pain, weary, or experiencing some form of discouragement is growing. Some of them simply need rest.  Others need to resign. And still, […]

Engaging the Future as Leaders and Congregations

by Grady D. King, D.Min Most leaders and congregations know the term “normal” means the future will not be like the past. What it looks like in terms of people in the pew, programs, and mission is uncertain. The loss of regular attendees is a pandemic reality. Empty pews translate to anxiety. If we only […]

Who Are We Called to Be in These Turbulent Times

by Lynn Anderson A Larry McMurtry novel takes us back to the 1870s, where we meet Mr. Brookshire,  standing on the windy streets in Amarillo, Texas. He is a railroad accountant from Brooklyn, New York, and has come west to line up some Texas Rangers to help him catch a train robbers gang. But Brookshire […]

What I’m Learning in HOPE Network

Grady D. King, D. Min   The call went something like this. Church Leader: “Could you help us find a minister?” Me: Tell me about your church. Church Leader: “We have some good people. We just need the right minister.” Me: Why would a minister with the characteristics you describe want to come? Sounds […]

Church Leadership that’s Stuck? You Can Get Unstuck

by Grady King: Being a church leader is a high calling with great demands often punctuated with loneliness, self-doubt, and unrealistic expectations. Many leaders do not sleep well or experience sabbath. And it is not merely because of the present pandemic. Before COVID, the realities of an aging church demographic, a post-Christian culture, gender inclusion, […]