Long Ministry
Kevin Schoen

Friends and farewells

Religion | For Maynard and Joan Schoen, the more years of church ministry, the harder the goodbyes
by Charissa Koh
Posted 5/21/20, 05:26 pm

Fourth in a series on long ministry

Fresh out of seminary, Maynard Schoen arrived with his wife, Joan, in Jonesville, Mich., in 1961 to pastor a small church there. The church had 40 people and no bathroom—only an outhouse. Maynard devoted himself to his new role and made friends among the congregation, but he wasn’t destined to stay: After a few years, another church asked him to become its pastor. 

Read more

Torin Olsen

Working for the kingdom

Religion | God’s calling on Tom Sharkey’s life seemed irresistible, but 31 years of pastoring a sometimes-resistant flock was challenging
by Charissa Koh
Posted 4/23/20, 05:02 pm

Third in a series on long ministry

Atheist Tom Sharkey became a Christian in college and was surprised when people urged him to become a pastor. “I kept hearing the word preach,” he says. “I just kept trying to push that out of my mind.” When a campus ministry asked him to preach for its service, he said no. But the group insisted, and afterward he received positive feedback. 

Read more

Todd McInturf/Genesis

Lessons in humility

Lifestyle | Steven Thomas entered the pastoral ministry full of pride. But painful trials reminded him God is in charge of outcomes
by Charissa Koh
Posted 2/27/20, 04:15 pm

Second in a series on long ministry

For 37 years, Steven Thomas has served as pastor of Huron Baptist Church in Flat Rock, Mich. Looking back, he sees his own ambition as a persistent challenge to his ministry. But fully recognizing the problem took years.

Read more