Author Archive | Sarai Rice

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How to Avoid Fighting About Stupid Things

by Sarai Rice Anxious people fight about stupid things. I learned this years ago, mostly from congregations. But I was reminded of it recently by a close encounter with party politics during the most recent election cycle, so I thought I would share a political example and prescribe a solution that almost always works to […]

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Bullying

Are You Being Bullied?

Many ministers, male as well as female, have experienced bullying. We tend to excuse it—“every congregation has someone like this”—or think we caused it somehow. We may feel powerless if the member is important or seems to be tolerated by others. We don’t often talk about what’s happening to us because we’re ashamed or because […]

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When is the Right Time to Close Our Doors?

We live in anxious times, and one of the things that makes small congregations especially anxious is the fear that they might need to close. As members watch their Sunday morning worship attendance dwindle, someone usually starts “running the numbers,” trying to determine how long they can continue before the money runs out and they’re […]

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How Do I Learn What Seminary Didn’t Teach Me?

Most ministers, me included, probably discovered early in our careers that we don’t have the full set of skills essential to congregational leadership, skills that include not only preaching and pastoral care but also congregational governance, employee supervision and evaluation, fundraising, change management, long-range planning, marketing/brand development, and budgeting. When this is true, where do […]

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