Category Archives: Bowen Family Systems Theory

Are you trying to make people grow?

“Don’t pull the saplings to make them grow.” A few weeks ago, Rev. Judith Sutterlin spoke at my church, First Baptist Church of Portland and mentioned this Chinese proverb. She learned it in her ministry teaching in a seminary in …

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Do you need help with money at church? My book Money and Your Ministry is out!

I’m delighted to say that my book Money and Your Ministry out this week! Remember: money does not have to be the hardest thing you do at church Money and Your Ministry is now available from Amazon in print and for Kindle   …

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Are there spooks in your church?

It’s Halloween, and I’m thinking about church spooks. No, not ghosts, exactly. I don’t really think churches are literally haunted. But sometimes the ghosts of the past are present in the life of a congregation. A few examples: A founding …

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Can you take a mini-retreat for your ministry?

Are you working “on” your ministry as well as “in” it? My colleague, Vern Sanders, asked me this question last summer. I’ve been thinking about this ever since. Fall is a particularly difficult time to do this. We get so …

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Leading with Creative Courage: A Workshop in Oak Ridge Tennessee (with music)

I’ll be in Oak Ridge, Tennessee February 20-22 for a Leading with Creative Courage workshop, together with my colleague Jake Morrill. (See Jake’s recent guest post on this blog on what he believes about ministry here. The workshop will help …

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Fourteen things one minister believes about leadership

Jake Morrill, minister of Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church (Tennessee), put an interesting post on Facebook recently. I asked him if I could share it with you. He’s one of my coaching clients (I also share that with his permission). …

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Keeping the memory fresh and the record accurate

After my last post about Winston Churchill, I got an e-mail from David Freeman, Ph.D., editor of the Chartwell Bulletin from the Churchill Centre, saying, “Winston Churchill’s father did not die from syphilis. That is an ancient and long-since refuted …

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Getting more neutral about politics

I came across a fascinating blog post by Jenny Brown, author of the great book, Growing Yourself Up, which I reviewed last year. She talks about heroes and villains in politics and family life. She’s writing in the Australian context, …

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Ten tips for understanding your money story

The way we learned about money from our families affects how we handle money matters at church. Becoming more aware and reflective about our family money story will lead to more choices in how we function in church budget meetings, …

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Ten ways to help your ministry by connecting with family this summer

Ministry leadership depends on relationships, as I said in my last post. We all learn about relationships from the family we grow up in. You may have learned in your family: conflict is inevitable, or to be avoided at all …

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