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It's an open secret. Pastors are leaving in droves.
The pandemic has placed unprecedented loads on clergy, who have had to reinvent their professions over and over again in the course of one difficult year.
Have you had to deal with church members who could not see eye-to-eye about the pandemic, online ministry, in-person worship, etc.? Yeah, we thought so.
Every. Single. Thing. is politicized. No matter what you say, preach, or teach, there are plenty of people who've attacked you for it. Is this why we entered ministry?
With looming church splits, unstable finances, and changing church attendance patterns, the "worship wars" of the 1990s look quaint. How can we see ways forward?
You are called by God: that hasn't changed. Everything else has. What will you do?
Using the "Hero's Journey" from Joseph Campbell's "Hero With A Thousand Faces," Rev. Steven D. Martin and Rev. Annette Flynn will spend an hour with you to help clarify your calling - and consider your next steps - in a powerful conversation about vocation, meaning, courage, and passion in (or out of) ministry.
Rev. Steven D. Martin is an ordained United Methodist minister in the Holston Conference. He has maintained his conference membership every year since leaving parish ministry in 2006, when he started a documentary filmmaking and strategic communications company. This work led him to a position with the National Council of Churches, to work with the White House on a religious freedom project, to travel the world, and to work with government and faith leaders in Washington, DC and across the globe.
Rev. Annette Flynn is also a clergy member in the Holston Conference with 20 years of service as a parish pastor. Her passion for education led her to create the Wesley Institute, a clergy development agency in her conference, a Master of Science in Organization Development from Pepperdine University, and a ministry of clergy coaching and consulting for government and church agencies.
Both Annette and Steve had to conquer self-doubt, derision from colleagues, difficult conversations with family members, fear of failure, and a thousand temptations to return to an ordinary career path. After having thoughts of returning to Egypt, then being fed by manna, quail, and water from desert rocks, they both feel closer to the Promised Land than at any time in their lives.
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