Contributor: G. Jeffrey MacDonald

Jeffrey MacDonald is an award-winning journalist and the author of Thieves in the Temple: The Christian Church and the Selling of the American Soul.  He also is the pastor of First Parish Church of Newbury, U.C.C. in Newbury, Massachusetts. The BTS Center awarded Jeff a 2016 Innovation Incubator Compass Grant to support his research on vitality in churches with part-time clergy.

Practicing Gratitude as Healing

How do people who’ve been robbed of so much ever come to feel grateful for anything again?

  As a rare breed of news reporter with divinity school training, I sometimes feel like I own the tragic violence beat. Editors send me in just as the TV news trucks are pulling out after a horrific event. When eerie stillness looms and survivors are crying out to God or to the abyss in the wake of disaster, I wipe away my own tears and straighten my tie... Read more

Growing by Half

How Part-Time Pastoral Leadership Can Revitalize the Church

One year ago, I began studying a rare but important species that many church officials wrongly believe doesn’t exist: the mainline Protestant congregation that finds vitality after doing away with the full-time pastorate. To be sure, it wasn’t always the easiest species to find. Many congregations with shrinking attendance and budgets continue to struggle after... Read more