5 Steps to Being a Healthy Pastor

Today we want to pass along an interview with a long time pastor that Tom and I know from Northern California.  His name is Jeff Bigelow and the discussion comes from the Vanderbloemen search group.  The questions were asked by Holly Hall who serves at Vanderbloemen.  Jeff has a wealth of experience and we hope it will be an encouragement.  What would you add? Continue reading


Dealing with the “D” Word.

We don’t talk about it much.  But we all know that a life of ministry can be really hard at times and that it can have serious effects on us.  Right now I’m thinking of five great guys who are presently dealing with possible borderline clinical depression.  But they wouldn’t tell you that.  They know how to “do ministry.”  They know how to throw on the smile and turn the attention to others.  They really want to help others know Jesus better.  But deep inside, they hurt, possibly even to the level of their brain chemistry being affected.  Sometimes the answer is just some serious time off from literal 24/7 schedules.  Sometimes a temporary prescription of something like Zoloft or Paxil can clear things up.  At times they just need a half dozen or more visits with a Biblical counselor.  But whatever they do, they know they can’t quit because they know that deep inside this is the life God has called them to in the same way that Peter responded to Jesus in John 6:68, “Lord, to whom shall we go?”  This is the life of their calling and existence and they know they could not in good conscience do anything else.  So they press on. Continue reading

Who’s Under Whose Authority? (Post by Tom)

I have a dilemma.  Both Steve and I come from theological backgrounds where most of “our” churches have “Elder-run Boards”.  We can always debate the soundness of that.  And there are days when I totally wish I served on a “Pastor-run Board.”  OK—whatever your conviction: different strokes for different folks.  But now I am in a situation where our church is grooming a young man who will become the permanent Sr. Pastor.  (For the record, my only title at the church where I’ve served for about three years now, is “Interim Pastor).  My slogan—which I’ve used before the congregation is: “He must increase; I must decrease”.  I can now only say “Easier said than done!”  In reality it is very difficult to turn loose of power and authority. Continue reading