Ministry life is challenging – to say the least. Many pastors need encouragement as they face a time of uncertainty, crisis, or transition. Drawing from the experience and wisdom of those who deeply care for the lives of pastors, their families, and the local church, these podcasts speak to many of the core issues facing today’s ministry leaders. Join the PIR Staff and others as they offer a message of Gospel hope as well as insights on how pastors can protect their future and guard their present.
“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.”—John 15:9
What would ministry - and life - look like if done from a basis of abiding deeply in Christ and his love? If that's not your current experience, it may be that this command of Jesus is an invitation to explore a more life-giving and joyful way to engage in your call to serve and minister. Join us as we sit down with Jack and Sharon Brown, who share their journey of ministry and life, and the lessons of identity, boundaries, self-care and healing they have learned that have led to experiencing healthy and hope-filled ministry.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Abiding Way Ministries
Sharon's Author Website
Hope Renewed Episode with Sharon Garlough Brown
Serving the small (or ordinary) sized church is filled with challenges. So many of the resources and conferences for ministry leaders are geared toward larger-church contexts, and can leave those called to smaller congregations feeling under-served and less than confident about their ministry. In this episode of Hope Renewed we sit down with Karl Vaters, whose love for and experience in small church leadership have uniquely equipped him to be a voice of encouragement for pastors of congregations under 100. He shares some powerful insights about bringing God-sized faith to lesser-sized congregations, how health and numbers are NOT synonymous, and helpful thoughts about navigating these challenging times in the small church.
Find all of Karl's Resources at karlvaters.com
Each of us has a story which serves as a testimony to God's grace in our lives. Some of these stories involve deep pain and potential ruin. Others are stories of perseverance and discovery. All of them point to Jesus and the hope of his gospel. In this episode of Hope Renewed, PIR's own Jason Eddy opens his heart and shares his story of burnout and recovery. From a promising beginning in ministry, through an almost catatonic crash, to a renewed and flourishing role in service and ministry, Jason traces the hand of God at work in, around and through him as he navigated an incredibly difficult time of life and ministry. What shines clearly in his story is the One, True God who renews hope and sets our feet on solid ground.
60 million people live in rural America, making it a fertile field for ministry. But with country churches come country issues, which bring their own unique challenges and joys. The demands on a pastor serving in these contexts are often multiplied because of isolation, lack of resources and small-town community dynamics. What are some keys to thriving when God calls you to serve His church in what can feel like a far away place? Jon Sanders joins us to bring his insight, experience and enthusiasm to this question, and offers hope to country pastors.
Resources in this episode:
Small Town Big Church
Rural Matters Institute
When you think of concepts and practices that help pastors and ministry leaders find hope and thrive, perhaps neuroscience isn't among the immediate thoughts that comes to mind! Yet in the "uniquely and wonderfully made" way in which God has fashioned us, we are discovering the crucial connections between how Biblical truths about our lives and the physiological insights God is revealing about how our brains function are deeply and importantly related. In this fascinating episode of Hope Renewed, we talk with pastor and academic Dr. Charles Stone about his research and discoveries regarding the intersection of Biblical truth with brain insight (which he calls NeuroMinistry), and how pastors and ministry leaders can - by better knowing themselves - avoid common ministry pitfalls and grow in hope-giving, life-bringing practices.
Link to Charles Stone resources.
What we often find in ministry life is that the circumstances and challenges we face aren't necessarily ones for which our training has prepared us. Having someone who can offer perspective, encouragement, guidance and perhaps a little advice is a HUGE help! Even for the "normal" work of ministry and leadership, a "seasoned and reasoned" voice - what we call a "Thinking Partner" - can be an invaluable asset for pastors and ministry leaders. I this episode we talk with Rev. Anne Horton and her coach Gail Goolsby, ACC about the unique dynamics and benefits of Clergy Coaching. They let us "peek inside" their well established and road-tested relationship and glean some of the insights of just what this type of partnership is, and why it works so well for those in ministry life.
Important Links for this episode:
PIR Clergy Coaching
Gail Goolsby's Website
What has it been like for you leading and ministering in this COVID season? Ministry can be stressful enough under normal circumstances. Add to it the weight and wait under which your ministry is currently being carried, and it can be a recipe for depression, frustration and burnout. How can you retain strength, vitality and resiliency in these difficult times? We sit down with Denny Howard of Full Strength Network, a partner in ministry with PIR. Denny walks us through the different types of stress faced by pastors and ministry leaders, gives us insights into identifying the often dangerous effects stress can cause, and equips us with healthy strategies to do well in difficult times. This timely episode provides much needed perspectives and truths to rise above the weights and waits, and minister fully in the strength Christ provides!
Links to resources in this episode:
Full Strength Network
Denny's book At Full Strength
The free At Full Strength Workbook
Life and Ministry Domains Assessment
If you’re in pastoral or ministry leadership, the church needs you to be healthy. Research shows there are certain keys to cultivating a sustainable, sacrificial yet fulfilling ministry and a key among them is Resilience. How do you seek resilience in ministry as a pastor or ministry leader? What does self-care look like when a pandemic has disrupted everything you do? How do you care for all of the needs out there and also take care of yourself? In this sacrificial calling, how might the cross and our union with Christ point a way forward? In this episode we sit down with Darrell Yoder, Instructor of Christian Ministries and Director of the Pirsig Fellowship and Talking Points Conferences at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He introduces us to significant resources that can encourage and equip you for Resilience in Ministry.
Link to the Talking Points resources on Resilience in Ministry: www.cornerstone.edu/resilience/
RESILIENCE: FINDING WHOLENESS IN
MINISTRY BY WAY OF THE CROSS
Joe Chambers is on a journey.
A self-described "pilgrim on his way home to the Kingdom of the Heaven", Joe shares a story of the highs and lows of pastoral ministry, and the restorative nature of God's grace. Join us a we walk with Joe through his experience and discovery of the depths of God's love, and the hope found in Jesus alone.
Joe's book: Field Notes on the Jesus Way
CrossRoads Counseling of the Rockies
A New Year seems to always bring with it a sense of looking forward to new hopes, new thoughts and new opportunities. How much more in 2021! On the cusp of this new and promising year, we thought it would be a great opportunity to revisit Who We Are as Pastor-in-Residence Ministries, and how we might best serve you in this New Year. Executive Director Roy Yanke sits down with us to offer an overview of PIR, the resources and tools we provide, and the encouragement God offers in and through this part of His Kingdom work.
Without fail the holiday season comes each year, and with it heightened expectations and stress in ministry. This year is especially challenging with the extra layers of complications due to pandemic protocols. While "making it through" the holidays might seem like the order of the day we at PIR want to encourage you to recover well from what may have been a hectic and draining time, and enter the next season with vigor and enthusiasm! Dan Borg joins Sean and Tom to talk about the pulls and strains of holiday ministry and how to bounce back better than before as you anticipate the New Year.
Steve Cuss is a Pastor, Author and Spiritual Care Professional who has a deep passion for ministry leaders. His particular concern is to bring relief from the pressures of ministry that weigh heavily on leaders by equipping them with tools for individual and team health. In this episode of Hope Renewed we sit down with Steve and talk about the various aspects of leadership anxiety that can war against ministry health, and explore some specific tools that help reframe our management of that anxiety and lead to places of strength and peace in ministry.
Links mentioned in this episode:
Steve Cuss webpage
The Leader's Journey
From time to time on Hope Renewed we have the opportunity to sit down with pastors and talk with them about navigating the challenges of serving in the church from the viewpoints and experiences of those who are on the "frontline" in local church ministry. We're able to hear their sometimes painful stories and how they have found hope to sustain and strengthen them for the long haul. This episode is a conversation with Sean's good friend Pastor Doug Smith, serving in McBain MI.
Studies indicate that upward of 85% of Protestant churches in the US have less than 200 members. This means many (if not most) pastors are serving in small context ministries, which bring unique challenges and stresses. An Author and Conference Leader, Pastor Chris Vitarelli has served in small (or “ordinary”) church contexts for over 20 years and has a passion to serve those who also minister in this context. We talk with him about his experiences, specific challenges of being in small church ministry, the vision for the Small Church BIG Deal Conference and book, his insights into staying healthy in small church ministry, what we all can learn from small church ministry and why there are BIG advantages to serving in a small church.
Links to Chris’s resources:
· The book: Small Church BIG Deal
· The Conference: Small Church BIG Deal
· Chris’s Author Page
According to our guest Dr. Daniel Borg, conflict “divides people, destroys careers, devastates friendships, and distracts churches from their God-given mission. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Jesus called His followers to unity, forgiveness, and reconciliation.” Sit with us as we talk with fellow PIR Regional Director Dan Borg, who has studied, taught and lived out conflict management.
In this episode we discuss:
· Why is church conflict so prevalent? Is it inevitable? Can it be avoided?
· What’s a helpful perspective to have about conflict in the church?
· Why do pastors struggle with managing conflict? Why do so many seem to get conflict “wrong”?
· What happens to the church and to the pastor when conflict goes unaddressed and/or unmanaged?
· What is a healthy role for a pastor to take in church conflict?
· What should a pastor do when they realize they have been/are managing conflict poorly?
· What should a pastor do when they are overwhelmed by conflict and want to give up?
· How do you deal with difficult people and those who create/thrive on conflict?
· How do you know when to get outside help?
Resources mentioned in this podcast:
v Watch the Managing Conflict Videos
v Check out Dan’s Book When Christians Clash
v Contact Dr. Daniel Borg firstname.lastname@example.org
v Sean mentions Edwin Friedman’s book A Failure of Nerve
Who is PIR? We had a unique opportunity recently to sit down as a staff and share together. Included in this episode are introductions of the people in the ministry, motivations underlying our sense of call to serve PIR, how we feel our individual experiences have equipped us to serve others, some "success stories" of where God has used PIR, our perspectives of the current state of ministry challenges for pastors and what keeps us up at night as well as brings us hope, and what we would like pastors to hear from us. Get to know the people who serve you in PIR!
Sharon Garlough Brown, award-winning author of the Sensible Shoes series, talks about her own experience as an author, a pastor, and spiritual director. We discuss the unique format of her spiritually formative fiction and why one of her characters struggles to find her identity in Christ as a pastor. Pastors will be challenged to ask the question, “who am I if I’m not a pastor?” Find out more about her books at sharongarloughbrown.com and her ministry at abidingway.life.
Many times, the routines and rigors of ministry can tempt a pastor to give up. How much more during these demanding times when it seems like every decision is second guessed and every action is highly scrutinized. Before you give in to a sense of defeat, sit with Tom and Sean as they explore the hope Christ offers to those who are ready to toss in the towel.
In part two of our interview with spiritual director, Joshua Banner, we talk about the importance of rest for pastors. We also talk about how to find a spiritual director and why it’s important to choose a director carefully. If you'd like to learn more about Spiritual Direction or access Josh's resources, visit his webpage The Invitation.
In this two-part interview with spiritual director, Joshua Banner, we explore the nature of spiritual direction and how it can help pastors find new hope in Christ. In part one, Josh explains what spiritual direction is and challenges us to think seriously about how aware we are of God’s presence.
Where does a pastor find hope and healing when life and ministry bring disappointment, discouragement and even displacement? In the arms of God’s grace as expressed in the Body of believers. Join us as we continue our conversation with Dr. Jim Amandus, the first Pastor In Residence. Jim shares how the local church can be a place of hope and healing for pastors and their spouses.
What does a pastor look like after a season of renewal and restoration? In this episode of Hope Renewed we talk with Dr. Jim Amandus, the first pastor to walk through the Pastor In Residence process. As a PIR, Jim and his wife were welcomed into a Refuge Church, given opportunity to both engage in ministry and find healing and restoration, and discern God’s next steps for them. His story is one of both struggle and hope, and a testimony to God’s redemptive work in and through His church.
Ministry abounds with expectations, but what can hide on the dark side of unmet or unrealistic ones can leave a pastor empty and losing heart. Discouragement lies along the path to compassion fatigue and burnout. While disappointment is normal and inevitable, a pastor needs to stand guard against discouragement. In this episode of Hope Renewed we explore where discouragement comes from, and what helps us to stand strong in the battle of hope.
This is the third installment of our discussion of Sean Nemecek’s article Searching for Shalom:The Importance of Sabbath Rest. Sean shares his experience of finding shalom in sabbath-keeping, as well as resources and tips for pastors to faithfully practice and develop sabbath rhythms in their life.
As we all navigate the impact brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, pastors and ministry leaders have unique issues before them. In this special episode of "Hope Renewed", Sean Nemecek and Tom Jameson talk about the wide-ranging challenges faced by church leadership in these unusual days, and how we might live best in and through them.
Pursuing Sabbath rest is an easily understood priority for a pastor. The tricky part is just how that actually gets done! In this continuation of a conversation with Sean Nemecek (pastorsoul.com) we explore the practical side of how to build Sabbath into a busy ministry lifestyle.
How well do Pastors care for their own soul, and just how is that done? In this first of 3 installments we talk with Sean Nemecek. Sean writes and resources on his website “The Pastor’s Soul” (www.pastorsoul.com) and is the newest Regional Director with PIR Ministries. Sean shares from his article “Searching for Shalom: The Importance of Sabbath Rest.”
Everyone in ministry has great hopes because we serve a great God! But what happens when the plans, programs and people you invest in fall well short of your hopes? Disappointments and let-downs can take a toll on our hearts, leading to a kind of sickness that robs us of our joy and passion in serving the Lord. In this episode of “Hope Renewed,” we explore the reality of deferred hopes and the remedy for a sick heart.
In the second part of our conversation with new PIR Board member Dr. Zack Eswine, he shares insight and encouragement for pastors and ministry leaders from his experience in life and ministry. Part 2 of 2.
PIR Ministries is happy to welcome Dr. Zack Eswine to our Board of Directors. We sat down with Zack and asked his perspective on the ministry of PIR and what he sees as the challenges facing pastors today. Part 1 of 2.
Sometimes we need to be reminded of basic truths about ourselves so we can be freed and encouraged to serve God with great joy. In this episode of “Hope Renewed” we offer 6 fundamentals of being human that can too easily get lost in ministry, and reminder that you are a person who fills a role.
Misunderstandings in ministry are all too common. What you say and what others hear can be two completely different things! How aware are you of that possibility, and the role you play? In this episode of Hope Renewed we consider the causes and cures that surround the Perception Gap. YJh8ae2PcVHdXBILUfGn
An exit from ministry can cause trust to become a debilitating issue for pastors. In this episode of Hope Renewed we explore some signs to look for that trust has been lost, and ways to encourage and build trust as you seek healing and restoration.
Pastoral ministry can be very rewarding but feel very lonely. In this episode of Hope Renewed, we look at the realities and dangers of isolation in ministry and explore healthy ways to stay connected with God and others.
Just as we need a sense of our physical condition to know when we need a doctor, we must regularly assess the condition of our heart to stay in good spiritual health. In this episode, we explore some helpful questions and practices of Self Examination that can keep us from ministry maladies and spiritual sickness.
The idea and principle of Sabbath keeping is often incredibly difficult for ministry leaders to put into practice. Like Martha, the many good and necessary things of life can distract us from what’s best. Sabbath is about choosing the best among all the good and necessary things of life. It nurtures our soul and brings us hope. Roy Yanke continues this theme in this part of his message on Living According to God’s Sabbath Principle.
From the moment of creation, God instilled a pattern – a rhythm – of work and rest for our lives. How well do we embrace that? In a continuation of Roy Yanke’s message on Living According to God’s Sabbath Principle, we’re encouraged to live into God’s perfect plan for His people.