Resilient Ministry: What it takes to survive and thrive

I greatly enjoyed this article by Megan Fowler and thought you might too:

Resilient Ministry: What it takes to survive and thrive

“What makes pastoral ministry so difficult that, although men feel called to pastoral ministry for a lifetime and spend years training in seminary, they often quit after a few years? What does it take to sustain lifelong pastoral excellence?”


About Tara Barthel

Tara Klena Barthel formerly served as the Director of the Institute for Christian Conciliation. As such, she oversaw hundreds of conciliation cases (including conflicted church interventions) through the international network of trained conciliators. Tara also provided oversight and leadership for all advanced conciliator training. Currently, she serves her family as a homemaker while occasionally accepting cases as a mediator, arbitrator, and conflicted church intervention team member. Currently enrolled at Reformed Theological Seminary and pursuing her Master's Degree in Religion, Tara consults with businesses and ministries on the legal risk management issues attendant to conflict; designs and presents custom training on biblical conflict resolution for churches, missions agencies, and parachurch organizations; speaks frequently at women’s conferences and retreats; and is currently working on many new writing projects. Tara is the author of the Living the Gospel in Relationships video series and co-author of Peacemaking Women—Biblical Hope for Resolving Conflict (Baker Books, 2005), and Redeeming Church Conflicts--Turning Crisis into Compassion and Care (Baker Books, 2012; second imprint Hendrickson Publishers 2016). Prior to moving to Billings, Montana to join the staff of Peacemaker Ministries, Tara worked as an attorney and business consultant in Chicago. Tara earned her law degree and M.B.A. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and her B.A. in psychology from Augustana College (Illinois).
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2 Responses to Resilient Ministry: What it takes to survive and thrive

  1. Pieter Louw says:

    Jesus gave us the procedures for handling conflicts in Matthew 18 from verse 15. Over almost three decades, I have never found even one church where this is done His way and only one pastor who did it right. The others follow their own protocol. My experience spans three continents and 28 denominations – I am a freelance (unsupported) missionary who get to see things. The last pastor that I approached, responded by sending me his bank details.

    • Pieter,

      The faithful practice of MT 18:15-20 has proved challenging for the church in recent decades. I believe that is mainly because many fail to see the connection between MT 18 and MT 16. Accountability is the Lord’s plan for building His church. We have two chapters in our book, Redeeming Church Conflicts, on the topic. Also, Jonathan Leeman’s book “The Church and The Surprising Offense of God’s Love” is excellent on the topic.

      Best wishes for continued fruitful ministry.


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