Killing the Clergy Softly: Congregational Conflict, Job Loss and Depression

By David Briggs

They are called “clergy killers” — congregations where a small group of members are so disruptive that no pastor is able to maintain spiritual leadership for long.

And yet ministers often endure the stresses of these dysfunctional relationships for months, or even years, before eventually being forced out or giving up.

Adding to the strain is the process, which is often shrouded in secrecy. No one – from denominational officials to church members to the clerics themselves – want to acknowledge the failure of a relationship designed to be a sign to the world of mutual love and support.

But new research is providing insights into just how widespread – and damaging – these forced terminations can be to clergy.

An online study published in the March issue of the Review of Religious Research found 28 percent of ministers said they had at one time been forced to leave their jobs due to personal attacks and criticism from a small faction of their congregations.

Read More

How to Listen to a Sermon

by Philip Ryken Shortly before college I read Mortimer Adler’s little classic How to Read a Book.  That may sound like an odd title.  After all, how could somebody read the book unless they already knew how to read?  And if they did know how to read, then why would they need to read it at…

Read More

When the Accounts Are Called: A Christian Understanding of Gambling

Written by Albert Mohler Sunday, 26 February 2012 Gambling corrupts the culture, polluting everything it touches. Recent scandals in college basketball are proof positive that gambling is not a problem limited to casinos and horse tracks. Ominously, industry executives see great promise in the development of on-line gambling over the Internet, bringing gambling to every…

Read More

PCA Presbytery Hears Paper on Reasons to Ordain Women as Deacons

Friday, 24 February 2012 “I am writing this paper to ask a question of our presbytery and by extension our denomination. The question is ‘If I am biblically persuaded that women can serve as deacons in the church, am I outside the bounds of PCA polity presently or in the foreseeable future?’” At its February…

Read More

Teach Children the Bible Is Not About Them

Written by Sally Lloyd-Jones, TGC Saturday, 25 February 2012 00:00 “And so what can we learn from Daniel about how God wants us to live?” And as I said those words it was as if I had literally laid a huge load on that little girl. Like I broke some spell. She crumpled right in…

Read More

Piety and Learning, Gentleness and Conviction

Scripture tells us (Hebrews 13:17) that some people will be hard to pastor, and tells us not to be those people.  Knox and Ginger are the exact opposite –they have always been more of a blessing to me than I could ever be to them.)  During Knox’s long hospitalization, the Lord gave me some wonderful…

Read More

Let’s Have More Worship Wars

What I am saying is that most of our varying critiques of musical forms are often just narcissism disguised as concern about theological and liturgical downgrade. That’s why I think we need more, and better, worship wars.

Read More