In “A Time for Trust” (the August 29, 2011 Alban Weekly, excerpted and adapted from The Girlfriends’ Clergy Companion: Surviving and Thriving in Ministry), Amy Morgan notes that people out of seminary may be confused about their first call, take missteps to Buy Facebook shares secure it, and find themselves “wondering in the first five years of ministry if a career as a day trader isn’t what God is really calling them to.”

Morgan goes on to say that surviving this “call process” often requires certain qualities, including T.R.U.S.T. These letters form an acronym that Morgan unpacks in the article, with the first “T” standing for “Talk to others about the churches you’re considering”; “R” standing for “Rock the interview” by participating in faithful dialogue; “U” standing for “Understand what you and the church really want” and expect; “S” standing for “Study the church” reports, website, history, and surrounding community; and the final “T” standing for “Take the call” if you discern God how to invest in Intel shares in Kenya seeks that you do so.

The author invites readers to consider whether their gifts and skills will be appreciated and useful in a particular ministry setting; whether God might be calling them to grow as a pastor and a person here; and whether they will be able to minister effectively on a personal level.

What resources might be helpful for pastors going through the call process? In addition to the items listed at the end of the article, we invite you to consider these items annotated in the Congregational Resource Guide: The Competent Pastor: Skills and Self-Knowledge for Serving Well; “Faithful to the Call: Reflections on Excellence in Ministry“; and “Becoming a Pastor: Reflections on the Transition into Ministry.”

What are your stories and thoughts on this topic? And what resources have you found helpful? We look forward Binary Options in Kenya to hearing from you.

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“Listening for God’s Leadings” (the August 22, 2011 Alban Weekly, adapted from Donald Zimmer’s Leadership and Listening: Spiritual Foundations for Church Governance) asserts that church governing boards “need the emotional, relational, and spiritual space that corporate discernment offers so that they can move beyond existing attachments and perspectives and listen together in openness and obedience [...]

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“Changing Our Perspective” (the August 15, 2011 Alban Weekly article adapted from the Summer 2011 Congregations magazine article of the same name) invites urban congregations to think in fresh ways about the opportunities and challenges now facing them—especially if some of their members are still pining for the “glory days” of yesteryear. Such fresh thinking [...]

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In “The Pastor and Pornography,” (the August 8, 2011 Alban Weekly), Mark Sundby and Susan Nienaber discuss the conflicted feelings and shame that surround the use of Internet pornography by pastors or other congregational leaders. The authors also explain three reasons for taking pornography use seriously: (1) it’s a public health problem, and a contributing [...]

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In “Life after Governance Change,” (the August 1, 2011 Alban Weekly), Dan Hotchkiss notes that the “start-and-stop decision-making tempo” of many board governance processes has led more churches and synagogues to consider alternatives to the ways they’ve usually governed themselves. Sometimes the best examples of innovation have emerged when “someone, in despair of working through [...]

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In “Hope and Ethnography” (the July 25, 2011 Alban Weekly, adapted from the book, Greenhouses of Hope: Congregations Growing Young Leaders Who Will Change the World), Dori Grinenko Baker invites pastors and other congregational leaders to become ethnographers—those who practice the “art of immersing oneself in a place long enough to hear its unique rhythms.” [...]

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In the July 18, 2011 Alban Weekly (“The Pathway of Simplicity,” excerpted and adapted from Tending to the Holy: The Practice of the Presence of God in Ministry), Bruce and Katherine Epperly remind pastors of the calling which drew them into ministry. That calling, say the authors, is for those “who have experienced the holy [...]

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In “Reimagining Organization” (the July 11, 2011 Alban Weekly, excerpted from Leadership and Listening: Spiritual Foundations for Church Governance), Donald Zimmer invites readers to consider church governance and organization in new ways. He offers the image of the inverted pyramid, or inverted bowl, as an approach to servant leadership which supports Jesus’s teaching—in the book [...]

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Craig Satterlee (author of Preaching and Stewardship: Proclaiming God’s Invitation to Grow, from which today’s Alban Weekly topic, “Why Do We Give?,” was drawn) holds that when clergy preach about giving to the church, they need to be sure that their sermon message is consistent with who they proclaim God to be. Satterlee points out that [...]

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In “It’s Your Church” (the June 27, 2011 Alban Weekly, adapted from the book Open Source Church), Landon Whitsitt argues that all too often, congregations expect their pastors to be resident church experts, who can quickly deliver the best plan for growing the church. In addition, they expect the pastor to skillfully administer the church’s [...]

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