Archives For Benjamin Kane

I read an article by Jen Hatmaker in the Washington Post titled, “How a Consumer Culture Threatens to Destroy Pastors.” While I agree that our culture is a threat to pastors, I wondered whether we place too much emphasis on culture and not enough on our need to create boundaries and realistic expectations. (This spoken from a minister.)  What if we looked at ourselves and asked, “How do I make ministry harder than it needs to be?”  Below are five ways:

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1. It Feels Good to Be Needed

Ministers love to be loved. And one of the best ways to be loved is to feel needed. Yes, I’ll teach Bible study; yes, I’ll preach 45+ Sundays a year; yes, I’ll visit everyone in the church every month. Congregants love these ideas and pastors (myself included) love to be needed.

2. We Think Ministry Only Happens When We Are Present

It is a hard pill to swallow when a minister sees a successful ministry that s/he isn’t leading/creating/nurturing. This speaks to our need to be needed and how we often assume (we all know what that word means) we need to be the leaders/facilitators/guides for every ministry. Continue Reading…

I love nothing more than a completed to-do list. Seeing each item crossed off fills me with a sense of accomplishment. Here’s the thing — even though I love the sight of a completed to-do list, I get bored with using that method as a means of being productive. So, in my hopes of being new and creative, I search for new ways to be productive. And let me say, I’ve tried quite a few. Books, websites, apps, and trainings—you name it, I’ve tried it (or thought about trying it!). The truth is, I never stop looking into new products and books; if I’m searching for information on being productive then I’m being productive, right?

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Nonetheless, ministry (and other professions) and life require us to do certain things at certain times. To that end, I offer three ideas about how to engage when you are wrestling with productivity.

1. TRY IT ALL—AND THEN CREATE YOUR OWN! Continue Reading…

Brian_Blount-1Ministry is a journey, but one not meant to be walked alone.  As we start blogging again, the members of the Masterin’ the Pastorin’ blog decided to solicit the wisdom of other Presbyterian pastors who’ve walked the journey of ministry.  We asked different folks the same set of questions and over the course of the next couple of weeks we’ll share her/his answers.  Today you can read the wisdom of Rev. Dr. Brian Blount, President of Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA who graciously offered to answer our questions.

  • What was a memorable moment in your first year of ministry? Realizing that just spending time with people, especially when someone just dropped over to my office to chat, wasn’t distracting me from my work, but that this was my work!
  • What was some helpful advice you were once given? The advice I think we give each other now. Make sure to provide time for yourself. Schedule it as if you were scheduling an obligation for work, so you know you’ll keep it.
  • How did you (or didn’t you) feel seminary prepared you for ministry? I was well prepared academically to do biblical studies and theology and to use church history and practical theology. But I was not prepared for the practical aspects of ministry like doing administration or performing weddings or funerals or celebrating the Eucharist. Those were things I fortunately was able to learn on my own quickly and through conversations with colleagues who had been in the ministry longer, and from remembering how such things were done in my growing up in my home church. As a solo pastor, I didn’t have the ability to learn from a senior pastor.
  • When was the first time you questioned going into the ministry?

Continue Reading…