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
30

Six Things Growing Churches Do That Others Don’t

by Travis Stephens I saw this article and knew it applied universally. Take note and take action! Ninety percent of the churches in the United States today are stagnant or declining. Dying churches are closing their doors at the rate of ten per day. Even church members who have been dedicated to the church for years are attending church less than ever before. It would be easy to throw up our hands in frustration and give up, 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…

Oct
14

Refresher for the Orthodox Pastor

by Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) 1. Having accepted the grace of ordination, bear in mind of what a gift and of what mercy the Lord has found you worthy – and what responsibility you now bear. A priest is an apostle to his flock. "I do not belong to myself, but to others," said the great Russian pastor Fr. (now St.) John of Kronstadt. 2. Scripture says, "The priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the Read more…

Sep
08

The Power of the Priestly Cassock

by Fr. Moses Samaan One of the most disturbing ideas I’ve heard in the recent push to “modernize” the Coptic Orthodox Church and make it more “attractive” to people in today’s society is the idea of priests putting aside their priestly cassocks in favor of pants, shirts, and collars, like other western clergy. The general arguments in favor of abandoning the priestly cassock essentially argue that it is too traditional to the Read more…

Jul
01

Royal Inadequacies of the Royal Priesthood

by Fr. Sergei Sveshnikov One of my favorite writers, Fr. Sergei is the author of Imagine That: Mental Imagery in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Private Devotion, and I recommend it to everyone, especially those discerning a priestly vocation. You can get it on Amazon HERE. “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!”–Psalm 133:1 While there are many wonderful and holy pastors who labor in Christ’s Read more…