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Fear came roaring in. I could have let the fear overwhelm me, control me, inhabit me, become my constant companion. Full Story »

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I remember as a little girl when my father was contemplating assuming the role of music leader in a neighboring community church. I was too young to know all of the discussions that took place, but one I do remember was when my parents talked to me about this possibility which would mean we had to attend another church. I probably didn’t respond the way they had hoped.  I remember having a pouty expression and saying “No, I don’t want to go.  All my friends are here.”  Full Story »

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I fought long and hard not to make this move. I liked the way my life was. I finally felt settled – I knew the flow of my job after more than three years in my position. I had finally made good friends, and I felt at home when I was with my life group at church. I had found my place in ministry, discipling girls through the Baptist Student Ministry where my husband worked part time and teaching GAs at our church. I even knew the traffic patterns so well that I could maneuver the streets of this big metro area like the best of them! Full Story »

katie swafford

If in the last few weeks you have determined that your balance is a little off and you could use some assistance in determining the right resources and people to connect to, Texas Baptist Counseling Services would be glad to help you make that assessment. We can assist you in finding a licensed counselor if you need to explore issues at a deeper level or work on some of the struggles that you find yourself and your family experiencing. No one in ministry is immune to struggles. In fact,ministry often presents a unique set of stresses for the minister and family which can make the struggles of life more difficult to walk through. Loneliness and discouragement can become overwhelming and impact both the spirit and ministry of faithful servants of God. Where can ministers turn for help? Who can they trust?

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Finding balance can be difficult for those in ministry when the congregations they serve view ministers as hired servants of God, place them on pedestals or have perfectionist expectations and demands. As deacons and lay leaders in the church, there are numerous things you can do to ensure your ministers feel supported, encouraged and have the opportunity to make choices reflective of finding balance in ministry. Some ideas to help congregations support their ministers and families are described below, but I challenge every congregant or church leader to continually search for ways to expand these suggestions. Full Story »

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Anyone in ministry knows that family is impacted – sometimes in a very positive way and sometimes in more strained ways. A recent statistic I came across suggested 80 percent of pastors reported ministry negatively affects their families. Wow, that’s not good. And though I know many of the preacher’s kids get lots of love and attention from congregations when they are young, the reverse seems to happen as they get older and they end up being the topic of many congregants’ conversations. So let’s think about some of the ways we can help bring balance to the life of ministry children to ensure their upbringing is as healthy as possible. Full Story »

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You knew we’d get to this topic at some point or another right? Exercise! We all need it but few of us really get what we need. Why is that? Well, if you’ve been following earlier blogs you may already have the answer – we just don’t make time for it. It’s tough in ministry to make time for self when you are typically focused on meeting the needs of so many others. But in order to put our best foot forward with our congregations, we have to learn how to take care of self in the process. Full Story »