Why Pastors and Ministry Leaders Have Difficulty Retiring

Mom and Dad

When I read a story on how difficult it is for writers, artists, and rock stars to retire, (May 20th in the U.K.’s Telegraph) by Critic Neil McCormick, I immediately thought of pastors and ministry leaders. Granted, they’re not famous writers or rock stars (at least most of them) but generally speaking, they don’t lead normal working lives. While they work very hard, they don’t have typical 8 to 5 jobs, don’t slave at a desk, can determine their own schedule, can be intensively creative, and are passionate about their work – I know, because my dad in the photo was a pastor, and even after a stroke, only stepped down after he fell in the pulpit.  They love the job – which makes retirement quite difficult. Pastors and leaders – don’t be offended, but 


Does Social Media Help Your Memory?


From the Wall Street Journal:  On Social Media and Memory – Older people who don’t use Facebook might want to reconsider.  Preliminary research presented at an academic conference suggests that using the social networking service can help keep seniors sharp. The research involved three groups of 14 Americans over 65, all non-Facebook users or novices. After training, one group was sent off to use Facebook and another was instructed to use an online diary site. The third group was told it was wait-listed for Facebook training but meanwhile needn’t do anything.  Eight weeks later,


Pope Benedict’s Retirement: Are Church and Nonprofit Leaders Watching?


I was so impressed by the retirement announcement from Pope Benedict, that for a minute or two, I almost became a Catholic. His courage in facing the reality of declining health, potentially poor decision making, and the toll on his psyche was admirable. In spite of the pressure (no Pope has retired in 600 years) he had the integrity to make the right decision. Now contrast that with many pastors, ministry, and nonprofit leaders. With media ministries, they stay on the air way past their ability to not embarrass themselves. They fumble around, say inappropriate things, and generally make the Church look foolish to the world. Long time pastors aren’t much different. They


How to Stage a Memorable Banquet

Banquet Table

I know, I know. I write on media, faith, and culture, but this time I have to speak out on a topic close to my heart (and stomach). If I have to attend one more poorly planned rubber chicken event for an organization’s fundraising, anniversary, or award, I’ll slice my wrists. Come on people, banquets can actually be fun, not the torture sessions we usually sit through. So if you have to plan an event in the near future, here’s some tips to keep in mind (if you don’t want me leaving early):


Is Experience The Biggest Obstacle to Change?


According to Vijay Govindarajan, a professor at Dartmouth College, businesses often overestimate the value of experience.  In fact, he says experience can actually be a liability during challenging times of change.  From my standpoint, I’ve seen that exhibited many times, usually in the guise of “We’ve never done it that way before.”  Or, “That would never work here.”  I’m a huge supporter of the value of experience, but when you view the world exclusively from that perspective, it can be a liability.  I was invited to meet with the leadership team from a major media ministry a few years ago, and although they were at a serious crisis point, I felt the ship could have been turned.  But every time I made a recommendation, I heard the same response, “That would never work here.”