What You Bring Matters

Pastors and priests are not simply born. Nor do they come to seminary and to post-seminary training programs as lumps of human clay to be formed and shaped passively into Christian ministers and leaders. They bring their own strengths, weaknesses, and dispositions.

What each person brings affects the shape and trajectory of his or her ministry. What’s more, learning to use, channel, tame, or work around one’s personal tendencies can make a huge difference in leadership effectiveness.

It’s true that every clergyperson is unique. But we have found that the systems of the Church tend to seek and produce a pastoral “type” across denominations. This pastoral type is highly creative, brimming with ideas and drawn to working autonomously, but gravitates away from decisiveness and self-confidence, avoids or quickly gives way in conflict, and wrestles with issues of self-care.

The posts in this section explore patterns and connections between creativity, healthy self-reliance and self-efficacy, wellness, and ways of engaging conflict that are common among recently ordained clergy—and raise questions for clergy and churches alike about what we seek in our Christian leaders.

StoriesView All

Self-Efficacy in Church Leadership: The Difference It Makes

An event Tim Pearson organized while still in seminary serves as an illustration of strong self-efficacy—a fundamental belief that you can succeed in a particular situation.


ResearchView All

New Clergy Display Moderately Strong Sense of Self-Efficacy

“How strongly do you believe that you are able to achieve the goals and aims of your work?” This may seem like an odd question to ask pastors and priests. Isn’t God really the one in charge?


Is There a “Clergy Personality”?

One powerful force that clergy bring to their ministry and leadership is personality. Qualities of personality shape how the work of ministry and leadership gets done (or doesn't get done!).