Courageous Leadership Begins with Me

I think that all of us want the best for the congregations, communities, and organizations we serve. However, we may not often reflect deeply about how our own self-awareness plays a crucial role in the capacity to lead in our various settings. Nancy Koehn, Harvard Business School historian, in her newly released book,…

Being before Doing

Dr. Samuel Wells, noted author and minister in London, England, recently released his latest book, Incarnational Ministry: Being with the Church. [1] Wells explores various dimensions of ministerial leadership, using the reality of the Trinity to guide his helpful insights. One of those insights that particularly stands out to me (and something I’ve…

Living Stones: Recognizing the DNA of Your Church

When a group of church leaders gather, a debate often begins about whether a church is an organism or an organization. Is the church a living thing – full of dynamic life and rich relationships? Or is the church, especially in the 21st century, comprised of systems and programs that require strategic attention?…

Ministry in Turbulent Times

Tragedy haunts headlines. Another week brings another shooting. Political dysfunctions and chaos spread across the globe. Often, closer to home, we deal with the quieter but deadly realities of epidemic drug use, the rise of suicide and a youth culture that is saturated with anxiety. All of these are present as congregations seek…

Relationships and Leadership

I recently participated in a learning workshop with faculty from a half-dozen seminaries and schools that train persons for ministerial leadership. One thing that came very clear in the reports we heard and in the conversations that followed was the vital role that relationality plays for effective leadership and care in congregations. Relationships…

Partnering with Churches and Ministers to Discern God’s Call

On any given day the Siburt Institute is working with about 75 churches that are looking for a minister. That number is in addition to the congregations that use our automated MinistryLink network service. And twice a month an eight-member team meets to review requests from search committees for names and resumes. So…


Dr. Carson Reed is Vice President for Church Relations at Abilene Christian University and Executive Director of the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry. He also serves as the Director for the Doctor of Ministry Program and holds the Frazer Endowed Chair for Church Enrichment in the Graduate School of Theology. Through the Siburt Institute, Carson does consulting work with congregations and church leaders across the country. His teaching and research centers on leadership, preaching, and issues surrounding faith and culture. Carson and his wife Vickie have been married for over 30 years and have four grown children.


The CHARIS website hosts conversations of and about Churches of Christ. In partnership with the ACU Library and the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry at Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX), the website is supported and led by the Center for Heritage and Renewal in Spirituality (CHARIS) at ACU. The Center’s mission is to renew Christian spirituality through engagement of Christian heritage, at Abilene Christian University and beyond. The views expressed on the CHARIS website are those of the various authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of Abilene Christian University or CHARIS at ACU. Questions or comments about the CHARIS website can be directed to charis @

2017-18 CHARIS Editorial Board:
Dr. Carisse Berryhill
Dr. Jason Fikes
Karissa Herchenroeder
Mac Ice
Chai Green
Tammy Marcelain
Molly Scherer
Dr. John Weaver

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