Apr
18

A Few Thoughts on Narcissism in the Priesthood

One of the most popular (and useful) GGWB articles of all time is "Signs in a Congregation That a Leader Has Covert Narcissistic Personality Disorder"  If you look at the comments to that article, you will see indicators of something that researchers have confirmed: 1) the proportion of pathological narcissism among clergy is extraordinarily high (this survey of Presbyterian clergy in Canada found that 30% had NPD!); and 2) narcissistic Read more…

Apr
11

Nine Secrets Your Pastor’s Wife Wishes You Knew

by Christina Stolaas She’s always there. Sometimes in the background, sometimes with a welcoming smile up front, sometimes noticed and appreciated, sometimes being silently judged. Your pastor’s wife; the powerful force behind most church leaders often perceived as a mystery by the rest of the church. It doesn’t have to be that way. What if we just asked our pastor’s wife to candidly, honestly, even anonymously share some of their Read more…

Mar
31

Fr. Andrew Damick (AFR) – Is it Wrong to Want to be a Priest?

Fr. Andrew Damick (my friend and neighbor) hits the nail on the head (actually, several nails).  Orthodoxy is pastoral, but it seems to be populated by some people that love dogmatizing particular advice and ridiculing those who go against it.  It is certainly true that the discernment process takes place in the Church and that not everyone who feels called to the priesthood really is, but that hardly means that we should staff our Read more…

Jan
23

Eight Characteristics of the New Bivocational Pastor

by Thom Rainer As predicted, this is a trend which those preparing for priesthood should be aware of as Christian exclusion increases. They are appearing on the scene quietly. Not many pundits are noticing the emerging trend. They are a different kind of bivocational pastor. The traditional bivocational pastor, by common definition, serves churches that are unable to compensate a pastor with fulltime pay. These pastors are Read more…

Jan
12

Why 734 Pastors Quit (and How Their Churches Could Have Kept Them)

by Lisa Cannon Green Not from an Orthodox source, but no less informative. Maybe even more important for Orthodox clergy. Self-care isn't essential for clergy. It is an existential reality for any one in a pastoral role. If it doesn't exists for those in a pastoral role, neither will you for long. No sabbatical. No help with counseling. No clear picture of what’s expected. Hundreds of former evangelical pastors say these were the Read more…

Dec
02

On Transitions – how to leave well

On 13 September 2015, I served my last Divine Liturgy at St. Michael's in Woonsocket, RI.  Although in many ways the situation was ideal (it was an amicable parting; I wasn't driven out by them or by frustration with them), it was still very difficult.  I wanted to do it well, for their benefit, for my benefit, and for the benefit of the priest that followed me (and of course, so that God could be glorified the brightest).  I was helped Read more…

Nov
02

The Authority of the Priest

by Fr. Sergei Shveshnikov All too often, a priest acts as if he were a secular leader, a board president, a CEO of a non-profit, a manager of an organization. To be sure, priests do hold a position of authority in the Church. But what kind of authority is it? What kind of headship? I really like the Roman Bishop’s official title: “the servant of the servant of God.” Regardless of how it is realized in the life of any particular Read more…