Ask the Matriarch: Former Member Still Stirring the (Anger) Pot

After a member leaves the church, but continues to engage angrily with the pastor and the congregation . . . what’s a pastor to do? Dear Matriarchs: Several months ago a family left our church because they couldn’t see how our church’s commitments to LGBTQ+ inclusion is faithful to the gospel. We thought they had… Read More

Ask the Matriarch: Our Favorite Ministry Resources

This week we ask the Matriarchs to give us some practical inspiration for our work as pastors. Dear Matriarchs, What are your best/favorite/essential go-to resources for ministry? Categories might include worship liturgy, sermon writing, programming, leader development, spiritual development (pastor and congregation) and congregational vitality. Let’s hear from our Matriarchs: Sharon Mack Temple I will… Read More

Ask the Matriarch: Her Bifurcated Facebook Presence

This week’s question is about a pastor’s social media and also about the need to re-calibrate systems after we’ve been at this awhile. Here’s a pastor who is taking a new look at how to manage her social media presence: Dear Matriarchs: Let me stipulate that I don’t like Facebook, I don’t like how it… Read More

Ask the Matriarch: Negotiating Your Best Parsonage

A pastor’s residence is her retreat, her haven, her household’s headquarters. This week’s question is about her pastoral housing choice: to live in the church parsonage or not? Dear Matriarchs: I am UM and moving to a new appointment. The church has a parsonage, and they indicated that it was our choice to either move… Read More

Ask the Matriarch: “How Do You Know When It’s Time to Go?”

This week’s question can be summed up in the advice given in Kenny Rogers classic “The Gambler” You’ve got to know when to hold ’em Know when to fold ’em Know when to walk away And know when to run But how do you know when?  This week’s question is our ministry version of that… Read More

Ask the Matriarch: Summer Worship Ideas

Summer is coming and preachers are planning! This week’s question solicits advice for summer worship ideas. Dear Matriarchs: This summer, I would like to diverge from the lectionary for the summer. Last year a colleague and I came up with a fun, travel-themed trip through the book of Exodus. Have any of you tried anything… Read More

Ask the Matriarch: Providing Congregational Care in a Multi-Staff Setting

This week’s question explores the ministry challenge of how to provide quality congregational care in a multi-staff setting. Dear Matriarchs: I am a Senior Pastor serving with an Associate Pastor, a Minister of Music, a Youth Pastor (seminary student), and a Faith Formation Director (layperson). Providing good care to the congregation is a meaningful part… Read More

Ask The Matriarch: When Their Situation Touches You

Pastors’ work requires our competence and our compassion . We have the professional tools to guide our congregants and congregations through joys, challenges and sorrows. How do we handle ourselves and our role when a death in the congregation finds us dealing with our own feelings? This week’s question: I have to do a funeral… Read More

Ask the Matriarch: “Her Prayer Left Me Speechless”

You know that problem of church members not taking initiative? Today’s ministry challenge is a result of a church member who steps up big time. Read all about it: Tonight our church began the process of selecting an architecture firm for designing our new sanctuary. I had to leave due to sickness. A charter member… Read More