"May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement
and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word."
- II Thess. 2:16-17
Emotionally Healthy Leadership Conference
April 9, 2013 in Windsor, ON
April 11, 2013 in Vancouver, BC
Peter Scazzero, pastor and author of The Emotionally Healthy Church and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality is coming soon to Windsor and Vancouver. We highly recommend this excellent, strategic training to anyone serving in a pastoral or leadership position.
Details are available at Emotionallyhealthyleadership.ca.
Creating an Adoption Culture in Your Church
April 12, 2013 in Calgary, AB
This free information seminar is being offered in conjunction with a full-day workshop on the needs of adopted and foster children. (There is a charge for the workshop itself.) Anyone seeking to support these children and their families will greatly appreciate the profound insights offered by Dr. Karyn Purvis, founder and director of Texas Christian University's Institute of Child Development.
For details visit Waitingtobelong.ca.
We are so glad you found our website! If you are a pastor or a family member of a pastor or missionary family, you will find all kinds of practical information and encouragement here.
Ministry is a high calling, but it’s not for the faint of heart! Inherent in this line of work can be long hours, expectations of others, self-sacrifice and incredible times of joy. The Clergy Care Network and Focus on the Family Canada are here to help provide guidance when life is challenging – and to rejoice with you when things are going well.
Please call us toll-free at 1.888.5.CLERGY or email us at email@example.com. Our phone lines are open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. PST. Let us know if we can serve you through complimentary phone counselling, consultation, resource or retreat suggestions or counselling referrals. Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter for pastors and check out our website for upcoming clergy events across Canada!
Blessings to you and your family
as you serve the Lord and His people!
Clergy Care Network
Four Reasons Sabbaticals Are Helpful for Church Leaders
by Jerry Ritskes
Many of us are much more attuned to the subtleties of our congregation than we are to our own heart. A Sabbath is creating space to stop and listen. Here are six things we've learned over the years as pastors and church leaders have attended Kerith Creek during their sabbaticals.
Avoiding Burnout: Three tips for pastors
by Randy MacDonald
Do you feel exhausted right now? I want to share with you the top three areas that I feel are foundational starting points for avoiding burnout, protecting your family and strengthening yourself to fulfil God's calling in your life as a ministry leader.
Boundaries in Marriage
by Wendy Kittlitz
Last week, I had the privilege once again of going to hear one of my favourite speakers, pastor Peter Scazzero, author of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. Peter shared a powerful mantra: "As goes the leader's marriage, so goes the church." That is at once both awe-inspiring and immensely frightening.
Healthy Marriages - Healthy Church?
by Laird Crump
Leaders need to know what motivates people to engage in God's mission and what deters them. So let's look at a central question for today's church: What impact does marital health have on people engaging in God's mission?
Ten Top Symptoms of Emotionally Unhealthy Spirituality
by Pete Scazzero
Jay, one of our church members, recently shared with me: "I was a Christian for 22 years, but instead of being a 22-year-old Christian, I was a one-year-old Christian 22 times! I just kept doing the same things over and over and over again." Many Christians in your congregation may be suffering from a similar condition. Read about the ten top symptoms of an emotionally unhealthy spirituality.
Growing Up As a Pastor's Kid
What's it like to grow up in the home of a pastor? Two children, now grown adults, share their perspectives on this experience and what it meant to have a dad who was a church leader.
Dear Pastor (I Mean, Honey)
I hate to ask you for one more thing, but the truth is that I feel like I'm competing with everyone you minister to for your attention. I want to love serving God, to love the people you serve - but I want you to love me too!
Kerith Creek: A Place of Healing for Church Leaders
It all started in 2008 when Focus on the Family Canada opened Kerith Creek near Calgary, AB, and began retreats for single and married church leaders. Jerry and Renee Ritskes reflect on the last few years of ministering to pastors, missionaries and other Christian leaders, and share a bit of what it's like to serve at Kerith Creek.
The 10 Self-Assessment Questions Pastors Should Ask by Laird Crump
Hopefully you'll never lose the thrill of ministry, but a lack of enjoyment could be an indicator that you have outgrown your current setting and need another challenge. If you're wondering whether God is calling you to stay or go, these 10 self-assessment questions can help.
Seinfeld Versus the Bible: What's the Best Way to Give Christmas Gifts? by Stephen Johnson
In the Christmas 1997 episode of the Seinfeld TV show, George, Elaine and Jerry were each given a card informing them that instead of receiving a gift, a donation had been made in their name to a charitable organization. It was a clever and humorous episode that raised the question of whether donating to charities might be a better alternative to traditional Christmas gifts.
How Pastors Can Champion Fostering and Adoption by Phil Wagler
The Christian Church has been at the forefront of providing care for parentless children for centuries, with James' words from James 1:27 a key spur. In these days of so many broken homes and abandoned children, pastors must be at the forefront of calling the followers of Jesus to foster and adopt.
Here to Hear: The Top Issues Facing Canadian Churches by Randy MacDonald
In early 2011, Focus on the Family Canada kicked off the Here to Hear cross-Canada tour to meet with pastors and church leaders across the country. Our mission: to hear from these leaders about the issues they face day by day, and month by month.
H.B. London Jr. on Life, Ministry and Family
In an exclusive, candid interview with Focus on the Family Canada, H.B. London Jr. shares the wisdom he's gained from more than 50 years in the ministry and 20 years as the "pastor to pastors" at Focus on the Family U.S.
It's Summertime: Five Relaxation Tips for Pastors by Randy Burtis
If our quest is to finish strong, we, as pastors, must take more effort to care for ourselves as we minister to God's people. Start building a plan that will bring balance to your pastoral and personal life.
From the Pulpit: Four Ways to Encourage Dads by Wendy Kittlitz
For some men, their father was the wonderful father he was designed to be. For others, however, their dad may have been absent, preoccupied, unavailable or even abusive. This presents a challenge when it comes to recognizing Father's Day in church.
Spiritual Coaches: Helping You Experience a New Friendship With God by Merelyn Webber
When it comes to talking with God, many of us have adopted a pattern of relating to Him that looks more like the way we relate to a waiter in a restaurant. We hand Him our list of needs and desires and wait for Him to serve us. Spiritual coaches can help you change that.
10 Ways to Pastor Adoptive Parents and Those Considering Adoption by Jason Kovacs
There are many ways that you can express your pastoral care for those considering adoption and those who have adopted already. As an adoptive father and former pastor, I offer a few thoughts on how to help adoption become a Biblically-based, heart-led, missional movement in your church and not merely another program on your church's list.
Pastor Joe's No Good, So Sad, Very Bad Day
Pastor Joe is burned out. For him, ministry has become painful, tiring and draining. He is not sure how he got here and is even less sure of what to do next. He contemplates leaving the ministry, questioning why he ever felt called to be a pastor anyway. There are three common reasons why Pastor Joe maybe experiencing burnout.
Hearing the Cry
Randy Burtis, an adoptive dad and a pastor of family ministry, shares how McLaurin Baptist Church in Grande Prairie, AB, celebrated Orphan Sunday on November 7. These ideas may inspire you to host something similar in your own church.
Hobbits and Pastors by Laird Crump
Pastors are somewhat like hobbits, the pivotal characters in J.R.R. Tolkien's classic The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Although it was comforting for Frodo to have fine associates like Sam Gamgee who stood by him through thick and thin, Frodo was still the one who bore the brunt of the burden.
Lifelong Learning by Jerry and Renee Ritskes
We often work with ministry people who. over time, have lost the excitement of ministry. . . . We've experienced some of those hurtful things, too. Here are some of the lessons we have learned from almost 30 years of marriage and ministry.
Healthy Homes, Healthy Church by Jim Toohey
How do you measure church health? There are many valid answers. One critical measure that is often overlooked and underestimated is the home. Your church is only as healthy as the homes (represented by families) that attend it. Healthy homes make for a healthy church.
So You're the New Pastor by Randy MacDonald
You’ve been waiting and waiting. Finally the phone rings and you’re offered the position you’ve been longing for. Here are some words of wisdom from a long-time pastor to help you and your congregation ease into the leadership transition.
Saying Goodbye With Grace by Laird Crump
When leaving a church as a pastor, it's very important to navigate departures well. A pastoral transition can put both a pastor and a congregation into a vulnerable position: The pastor could feel undervalued; the flock could feel insecure, and "wannabe" leaders can rush in with a harmful agenda.
Is Spiritual Direction for Me? by Graham Langmead
The challenges of life often draw us into deep waters. Left to ourselves, we may feel like we are drowning. What we need is someone who can provide a new perspective, and help us see how God is using circumstances for His purposes.
Addicted to Approval? by Jerry Ritskes
When we begin to look to people for affirmation as a sign of "God's blessing" or "God's calling," then we are on a slippery slope toward a direction which actually blunts our ministry and passion.
The Pastor’s Need to Rest and Retreat by Jerry Ritskes
When you get asked how you are, do you find yourself proudly (but with some frustration) answering that you are “busy”? There is a world to win, programs to organize, people to train and a church to maintain.
The Really Ugly Truth by Wendy Kittlitz
By shining a light on pornography addiction, you will remind those in bondage that there is hope and that they're not alone. God's power is stronger than this addiction!
Skimming by Pete Scazzero*
Pete Scazzero, author of The Emotionally Healthy Church, talks about the perils of avoiding aspects of ministry. If you're "skimming," it may be time to stop trying to look good and do the dirty work beneath the surface.
*Note: Links to external sites or articles do not constitute endorsement or complete agreement by Focus on the Family Canada with information or resources offered at or through those sites.
| Current Thoughts & Issues
Is Viewing Pornography Grounds for Divorce?
Have you ever been asked this question? What was your answer?
We address this issue on our FocusHelps website at FocusHelps.ca. You can read the article here. Do you agree or disagree? Send us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
| What is the Clergy Care Network?
Clergy Care Network is a ministry based out of Focus on the Family Canada. With the support
of Canadian denominations, we exist to provide
confidential support and encouragement to Canadian
pastors, their spouses and their children. Our toll-free
line (1.888.5.CLERGY) provides information, consultation,
counselling, resources and referrals.
We welcome your calls and look forward to hearing from you!
You may also reach us via email at email@example.com. Please see our FAQ page for more information on CCN.
If you are from the United States, please contact The Parsonage. This is the Focus on the Family ministry for American pastors. Please call their toll-free pastoral care line (1.877.233.4455) or visit their website at www.parsonage.org
|Focus on Pastors (Formerly The Signpost)
Our monthly e-newsletter, Focus on Pastors, is filled with encouraging articles and resources that are practical and relevant to the needs and ministry of Canadian pastors. It is a collaboration between Focus on the Family Canada's Church Relations, Clergy Care Network and Kerith Creek (Kerithcreek.com).
If you are not a current subscriber and would like to receive this free resource, please sign up below.