Among the many surprises and frustrations that are part of a pastor’s work, two repeatedly dogged me throughout the years. I saw lots of hurting people, but beyond my pastoral prayers and biblical guidance, I had no idea how to minister to them until they were emotionally strong enough to respond. And then there was the business side of the church. We couldn’t afford a full-time administrator and I found myself consumed with the busy work of management rather than the spiritual work I’d been called to do.
Know what I mean?
Pastors I trusted gave me conflicting advice. All were confident that they were correct, but none could point me to a definitive source.
So, I set out to find answers for myself. After attending seminars and classes for years, I’ve become a board certified crisis chaplain, and picked up a few other certifications like StartChurch’s certified church executive. I am also an Approved Instructor for the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, and a Certified Trainer with the International Conference of Police Chaplains. I’ve helped train chaplains for major industrial leaders like Tyson Foods, and for police organizations that, among others, include the Jamaica national constabulary.
Now, I know that the certifications don’t mean much, but the knowledge and experience I’ve gained has helped me fix what I saw as my two weakest ministry flaws.
And in the process, I discovered that many other pastors listed these same two problems as their most troublesome. Most pastors aren’t prepared to deal with people in crisis, nor do they know where to turn for help with church management (bylaws, taxes, insurance, security, etc.) issues.
So, we’ve established theaveragechurch.com — a place where leaders of America’s average-size churches can turn for help. We don’t just give advice, but point you to the laws or principles behind our suggestions.
While we will happily assist any church, our main focus is on traditional apostolic, pentecostal churches.
You can follow my blog at dougellingsworth.com. Most are usually inspirational, but I often write about leadership or share something I’ve learned.
We’ve also published a few books that you can review at sevenorders.com.
This is a family enterprise that includes my wife, Anita, our two daughters, Jana and Kayla, and our son, Jonathan. They all pitch in to help me get my work done.
Jonathan is taking over as our creative director, so you will be seeing his name and face on some of our future projects.