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Author Barry Howard

Barry Howard serves as leadership coach / consultant with the Center for Healthy Churches and is an EthicsDaily.com board member. He lives in Pensacola, Florida.

Thirty seven years ago this past month I was called to my first church staff position at the age of 18. Thinking about those early beginnings has led me to reminisce about the peculiarity of my calling and my pastoral journey. Now, at age 55, I am a middle-aged pastor. My how time flies! Middle-aged […] Read More

I drove north on Pensacola, Florida’s Scenic Bluffs Highway, one of the most beautiful coastal drives in America. And yet, as the sunrise glistened over Escambia Bay, the picturesque Florida scenery was scarred by nature’s whim. Stately oaks were uprooted, townhomes were blown from their foundation, homes stood minus their roofs and windows, and neighbors […] Read More

Election years can be volatile, unpredictable and filled with heated political rhetoric. It is not unusual these days for prominent pastors and local clergy to join the fray of bombastic oratory. While I do not think pastors should be silent, I do think a pastor’s tone and message should be helpful, encouraging and nonpartisan. Especially […] Read More

It’s dark outside, and Monday seemed even darker than usual. And it should. It was the darkest day of the year. For those of us who live in the northern hemisphere, the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice, usually occurs on Dec. 21. The solstice, which literally means, “sun stood still,” officially marks […] Read More

Ministry in the 21st century is like growing potatoes on Mars. This brief comment, voiced by my friend Bill Wilson, director of the Center for Healthy Churches, summarized thoughts that had been simmering in my mind about the changes and challenges of pastoral ministry. I immediately knew that Bill and I had read the same […] Read More

When it comes to marriage, I chose wisely. I can readily identify with Winston Churchill’s assessment: “My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.” This week, my wife, Amanda, and I are celebrating our 30th anniversary. This journey has been an adventure with unexpected twists and […] Read More

I observed our congregation’s students standing attentively as they enthusiastically declared, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America” during Vacation Bible School. We often recite these words in classrooms and at civic gatherings. When we pronounce the pledge, is it merely an obligatory ritual or do we listen attentively to […] Read More

July 4 is a time for U.S. citizens to give thanks for our unrivaled freedom and a great time to highlight and celebrate our religious liberty. Religious liberty refers to the right to worship freely without fear of persecution. Yet religious liberty also protects citizens from compulsory religious participation. In other words, our government is […] Read More

Robert Lupton has urged churches and other charities to reconsider and revise their mission strategies in order to make them more effective. If a church deems Lupton’s challenge, expounded in his book, “Toxic Charity,” to be valid, what are the steps a congregation can take to instill a sense of empowerment and not a sense […] Read More

I was prompted to rethink my own presuppositions about stewardship after reading Ron Sider’s probing book, “Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger: Moving from Affluence to Generosity,” several years ago. More recently, I have been thinking more deeply about the church’s missional strategy as we have wrestled with Robert Lupton’s “Toxic Charity: How Churches […] Read More