kathleen hardage

The button on my coat

On the lapel of my winter coat is a button-type pin. You know, those little metal buttons that have a slogan written on them? Oh, how I want to take it off sometimes.

At a Texas Baptists conference a year or two ago, I stopped at the Texas WMU booth to say hello to the delightful ladies there and to see what kind of goodies they were giving away. One can generally count on seeing a bowl of candies, sometimes a tote bag, and maybe a free book or t-shirt. This particular time, the WMU of Texas had among its doo-dads these little buttons, black with white and... [continue]

How to embrace your place

Most of our lives in the ministry, we have lived in places not readily recognized by many people. When asked where we lived, our answers sounded like this: "It's in Hill County, just North of Hillsboro." "On the outskirts of Wichita Falls." "Midway between Dallas and Texarkana." Now we live in a city so famous we don't even have to say "Texas" after it. Ironically, I feel less known here than in the "unknown" places.

Wherever you are serving and ministering, God knows you. He remembers you. He sees you. He uses you. He did not send you there to forget or ignore... [continue]

How to love your Search Committee

Whatever staff position you and your husband serve in your church (or have served in), chances are you probably worked with a Search Committee. Members of the committee who brought you into a church can be some of your best partners in your ministry.

Embrace them! They are your allies. These people are already invested in you. Within the work of the Holy Spirit, they are responsible for you being called there, and they want you to be successful.

If there are things you need, such as a recommendation for a plumber or babysitter, call one of your... [continue]

Don't Lose the Wonder

"O the wonder of it all, the wonder of it all, Just to think that God loves me!" -G.B. Shea

Once upon a time, my husband was the guest preacher at a church and we sat at the front, near a staff member. After some singing, a white-haired man, robed for baptism, gave his testimony. He had been in military service and said he had lived his life apart from God. Tears filled my eyes as I heard him tell how he had recently found Jesus and wanted to follow Him in baptism.

But just as the baptism started, a staff member near us leaned over and told a humorous... [continue]

Your Piece Matters

Several years ago, we took a family vacation to the mountains. In the lobby of our hotel, the manager had set up a table with a large jigsaw puzzle. He worked on it during spare moments and guests were welcome to connect a piece or two as they walked by. As I watched his progress, I asked if I could look at the lid of the box so I could see what the finished puzzle would be. He said, "No, I don't use the box lid. That's cheating." Seriously? I was not aware that I had been a puzzle cheater all along!

In much the same way, our days, moments and events come... [continue]

So it begins

In a fellowship hall in a rural Hill County town, a young seminary student and his wife waited nervously. They were meeting with the Pastor Search Committee of a church about the possibility of becoming the pastor, which would be this young man's first ministerial position. He had been seeking to follow the Lord's call since he was just a boy of nine, and this could be the beginning. After a lunch of homemade fried chicken, the committee got down to business. The very first question from the committee was not directed to the seminary student, but to his wife. "Do you play... [continue]