The art of getting better

If we take Luke 2:52 seriously, even Jesus improved as he matured. “And Jesus increased in wisdom and years, and in divine and human favor,” the verse reads. Knowing how to get better over time is a critical quality for…

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The church and the gift of Black history

The annual celebration known as Black History Month began as “Negro History Week” in 1926. Historian Carter G. Woodson picked the timing for this commemorative week to coincide with the birthdates of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two figures who…

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Is it time to push “reset”?

As the pandemic trudges into its third year, many leaders are thinking about what needs to change. The paradox, however, is that a leader’s success is often judged by longevity and continuity. Innovation is not always appreciated in real time….

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Is your congregation burned out?

We all know pastors who are burned out from the stresses of 2020 and 2021. Maybe we are willing to say, “I am burned out” — but I wonder if it would help us to think about a congregation being burned out. A Harvard…

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Top 5 Alban resources of 2021

Happy New Year! We begin a fresh year of the Alban Weekly with a look back at the resources that resonated most with Weekly readers. If you feel like you have spent this year continually determining – and determining again…

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Who is with you this Advent?

Advent is one of a few times each year when a pastor sees the full range of people who are engaged with the congregation. Even those with the most distant connections show up to Christmas services. But is that happening…

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It’s time to slow down

Busy leaders do not always make better leaders. Sometimes, busy leaders are just that: busy. As three major holidays rapidly approach — Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas — leaders will be tempted to get more work done by speeding up the pace,…

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Are you just tired – or burning out?

A group of ministers told me about a senior pastor they knew who resigned because the demands of ministry had become too much. This was not the first person they knew personally who resigned this year. Such sudden exits make…

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Creating a just workplace

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have learned a great deal more about the inequities and injustices in American society. As in-person life resumes in much of the country, we are forced to ask how we will live and…

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