Humor Section There’s a story about a child psychologist who wanted to observe how different children respond to negative circumstances. They got a room and filled it with horse manure. Putting the pessimistic child in there, they observed how he responded. Predictably, he whined and cried, and despaired that he was in a room full […]
Someone once said, “I might pick a rosebud off a tree, and it would be a rosebud and no more. The one I love in all the world might pluck a rosebud off a tree and give it to me, and it would be a rosebud and a great deal more. The meaning would be changed because she gave it to me.” … read more
https://tonycooke.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/TCM-LogoColor-300x105.jpg00Tony Cookehttps://tonycooke.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/TCM-LogoColor-300x105.jpgTony Cooke2014-10-15 19:00:582020-11-23 20:29:47What Do You See When You Look on the Table?
I wonder which translation pastors preach from the most? Study? If you use one predominant version in preaching, which other translations do you most often refer to in order to provide other shades of meaning? What is it that you like about the translation(s) you use the most, and why do you consider it to be the most effective for you?
I’m trying to get a handle on my schedule and bring some order into my world. Do other pastors have some kind of routine in their schedule? Do they do certain tasks (sermon preparation, time with staff and leaders, prayer, counseling, administrative tasks, time-off, etc.) in designated blocks of time on specified days, or do they do their tasks randomly, whenever they can?
I tend to stay overly engrossed in my work as a pastor, and I’ve not been very good at taking time off. When I have taken a break or a vacation, I tend to not let go of the church or the cares of the ministry mentally. I’m wondering what other pastors do to relax? How do they do with hobbies, days off, vacations, and sabbaticals. I’d love to learn from pastors who’ve done better with these things than I have.
How do you deal with stress in the ministry? Do you have hobbies? How much time do you take off, and what do you do when you’re off? What have you learned in ministry that has helped you deal with stress and pressure?
https://tonycooke.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/TCM-LogoColor-300x105.jpg00Tony Cookehttps://tonycooke.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/TCM-LogoColor-300x105.jpgTony Cooke2014-10-15 19:00:082020-10-07 23:44:55How do you deal with stress in the ministry?
What does your church do to strengthen marriages? What kinds of resources (books, videos, classes, etc.) have you found helpful? Are there any special tools, such as personality inventories, etc. that you’ve found to be helpful? Does your church offer any type of counseling for couples, marriage retreats, etc.? How often do you teach on marriage and relationships from the pulpit? I’m looking for any and all ideas that we can possibly implement in our church to help our couples have successful marriages.
As a pastor, I find myself having to deal with so many interruptions and distractions that it’s hard to stay proactive with my schedule. It seems like I’m always putting out fires, and then I don’t have enough time for family, study, prayer, etc. The problems I find myself dealing with are legitimate and do require some attention, but how do I keep myself from being completely side-tracked by all these issues?
As a young minister, I’ve noticed how many ministers seem to get off-track in some glaring way during the course of their ministries. I never want to do anything that dishonors God or become someone who brings reproach to the Gospel or misrepresents the Lord Jesus Christ. I’ve always heard the admonitions about “the gold, the girls, and the glory,” but can you share with me what you feel are the root areas of sin (or neglect, disobedience, attitude problems, etc.) that ultimately open up the door to these more obvious sins. I would love to hear from proven ministers how to stay on-track…how to avoid getting into prideful attitudes or wrong behavior. My heart’s desire is to serve God with honor and integrity over the course of my lifetime. What are the specific pitfalls and traps I need to watch out for?
I’m looking for insights on how to work with and develop my staff, not so much what to expect from them, but rather, I’d like to know: “What are a pastor’s responsibilities toward his or her staff?” Read the responses.
As a pastor, I had a situation where a church member confided in one of my staff members about a particular matter (they are friends). Because of the way it was shared, my staff member never conveyed the information to me. I ended up making some church-related decisions and taking some actions which I never would have taken had I known what the staff member knew. Am I wrong to be concerned that my staff member felt more loyalty to the church member than to me as the pastor? How should I address this to this particular staff member, and how should I communicate with my overall staff about what I expect regarding this type of scenario?
What is the best way to lead staff meetings; especially with full and part-time staff, or even volunteer staff? What should the staff be expected to prepare for the meeting? How are agendas best established? How often should you have meetings to cover church business as opposed to providing training? Who should attend staff meetings? Do you have different levels of meetings? Pastoral staff only or all staff attending?
As a pastor, I regularly observe the performance of my staff members and leaders. I don’t want to be a perfectionist or a micro-manager, but I want to see everyone given to excellence, thoroughness, and attention to detail. How do I instill these values in my leaders? How can I give them feedback (which sometimes involves correction) without making them feel that I’m always “riding them?” They do alright much of the time, but I get frustrated when they just don’t seem to “get it” and miss obvious things that should be done. How do I coach, give feedback, and help our church staff embrace a sense of excellence in all that we do?
As a pastor, I’m looking to help facilitate small group fellowship among our people. What are other churches doing with small groups? What formats and approaches seem to work the best? I’d love to hear what types of guidelines, resources, curriculum, etc. that other pastors have used successfully. What are the pros and cons of small groups?
As a pastor, I don’t want to keep secrets from my spouse, but I’m not always sure it’s wise to tell her every problem that’s going on in the church. Is it ever wise to guard and protect one’s spouse from certain information that would be hurtful or discouraging to her? What criteria do I use in deciding which information to share and which information to withhold?
https://tonycooke.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/TCM-LogoColor-300x105.jpg00Tony Cookehttps://tonycooke.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/TCM-LogoColor-300x105.jpgTony Cooke2014-10-15 18:59:482020-10-08 16:39:27Sharing With My Spouse
I know it’s vitally important to keep a sense of humor in ministry, and I know it’s also important to not take yourself too seriously (even though we take our calling seriously). I’d love to hear pastors share some of their funnier moments in ministry, including their bloopers and blunders.
https://tonycooke.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/TCM-LogoColor-300x105.jpg00Tony Cookehttps://tonycooke.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/TCM-LogoColor-300x105.jpgTony Cooke2014-10-15 18:59:252020-10-08 03:35:15A Sense of Humor
I’ve been considering and exploring various styles of ministry lately. I have certain core values that compel me to hold to an emphasis that is strong in the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, but I’m also seeing many churches that could be termed “seeker sensitive” that are seemingly experiencing a lot of growth. Is it possible to integrate certain principles from other churches without compromising our core values? Are there pros and cons in this area?
By nature, I’m a people-pleaser. I want to accommodate people, but I find that I often say “yes” to some requests on the spur of the moment, only to regret it later. I find myself getting over-committed and wishing I wasn’t so impulsive to agree to things that seem good at the moment, but really aren’t beneficial in my overall schedule (or in the church’s overall ministry). Can other pastors help me learn how to say “no” without offending people? How can I be more strategic in what I say “yes” to, and how can I keep better control of my life, my commitments, and my schedule?
https://tonycooke.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/TCM-LogoColor-300x105.jpg00Tony Cookehttps://tonycooke.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/TCM-LogoColor-300x105.jpgTony Cooke2014-10-15 18:59:212020-10-08 16:52:20Learning to Say “No”
When a disgruntled exiting staff member or church member spreads lies about you as the pastor among people in the church what is the best response? Address it publicly, privately with the parties involved, or ignore it? It used to be that lies, gossip, etc. were spread only by word-of-mouth, but now these things can be posted on blogs, etc. and that seems to extend their shelf-life. Any thoughts?
Are there any techniques or mechanics that I should know to be more effective when I receive the tithes and offerings from the congregation? No one has ever really taught me “how” to receive an offering, and it seems there should be principles that I could benefit from. I don’t want to hype or pressure people, but neither do I want to feel backward or apologetic in receiving the offering. Are there any tips seasoned pastors could share that will help me be more effective?
I am trying to become more disciplined in my reading habits as a pastor, and I’m curious what other pastors do to stay well-read. What percentage of your reading is from the Bible, and what percentage is in other types of books? How much do you read per day, per week? How much of your reading is geared toward spiritual books, theological books, practical books, etc.? Are there certain authors you read after more than others? Are there some books that you find yourself reading on an annual basis? Do you ever do any recreational reading?
I am considering entering into a capital campaign for a building project. What are the best ways to raise funds for new facilities? What are the pros and cons of capital campaigns? Is this something we should do in-house, or should we look for an outside company/service to assist us? Everything that we have done until now has been taken care of from the general budget in terms of construction and purchasing land, but our next project is going to be much larger. Thanks for any advice along these lines.
https://tonycooke.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/TCM-LogoColor-300x105.jpg00Tony Cookehttps://tonycooke.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/TCM-LogoColor-300x105.jpgTony Cooke2014-10-15 18:59:112020-10-08 23:46:25Raising Funds for New Facilities
I’m trying to find the balance in my ministry and church between pursuing quality and quantity. I want to reach a lot of people, but I don’t want to sacrifice quality of ministry in the process. Any tips on how I can establish a healthy balance in this area?