When we are attentive, mid-career can be a time for us to deepen the “conversation with the elements” of ministry.
Confidentiality is a term of art in ministry. It evokes the seal of the confessional: most people expect, when they talk to clergy, that what they say will go no further. This is perhaps the most widespread expectation people have of clergy, and one most of us try hard to honor. Unfortunately, keeping confidences is not as simple than it sounds.
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 we go? What can we do to gain the skills we need?