Becoming the Pastor You Hope to Be unapologetically urges clergy readers to develop practices that will help them become more excellent ministers. A long-time field educator, now serving as a denominational staff person responsible for ministerial formation, Barbara Blodgett believes excellence is a matter of doing simple things with care and consistency. Ministers who commit themselves to excellence will grow and flourish, and even become happier in ministry. Blodgett urges ministers to resist praise and instead to ask for feedback, to seek the company of mentors who are better than the reader is at what he or she does, to be vulnerable before their peers in order to learn from them, and to define themselves as a leader who does not merely take activist stances but risks entering into deep, transformative relationships. Improvement in ministry, Blodgett argues, comes about not through extraordinary leaps and bounds but rather through adopting simple habits and carrying through on small but thoughtfully made choices.
In Pursuing Pastoral Excellence, pastoral counselor and educator Paul Hopkins aims to help pastoral leaders make a lasting and positive difference in the lives of the people and communities they serve. The heart of this book is the stories of seven ordinary pastors whose leadership has become extraordinary. Their stories not only highlight important characteristics and practices that nurture fruitful pastoral leadership, but they invite readers to examine their own stories, to think about the value of longevity in ministry, and to enhance the enduring impact of their own pastoral leadership. Hopkins frames these stories with a discussion of the difficult vocational challenges pastors are facing in a rapidly changing church milieu and a survey of recent leadership studies. He concludes by exploring seven patterns of pastoral leadership that characterize leaders who have an enduring impact, as well as four key elements coming to be recognized as imperative for the cultivation of enduring pastoral fruitfulness.
Starting with Spirit is a spiritual and professional resource for new pastors, their family members, and congregations, as well as ministers in every season of ministry who seek to grow in vitality and skill in the ongoing adventure of ministry. For more than thirty years, Bruce Epperly has followed the call of the spirit, moving through his vocations as a congregational pastor, university chaplain, seminary and university professor, and seminary administrator. Drawing on these experiences, he addresses the new pastor’s transition from seminary student to congregational leader; pastoral authority; the “honeymoon”; boundaries; death; the pastor’s spiritual life, health, and relationships; the role of the associate pastor; and continuing education. Epperly calls pastors to pause long enough to experience the movements of the spirit in their lives and to develop habits and practices that keep them in touch with God in the mundane as well as the dramatic moments of ministry.
Welcome to Theological Field Education!
Field education is an opportunity for students to develop ministry skills, practice ministerial reflection, discern their call, experience professional collegiality, and undergo personal transformation. Field education offers them a place to practice ministry and a space to reflect on it, to integrate theory and practice, and grow towards competency. In Welcome to Theological Field Education! eleven directors of field education in seminaries and divinity schools across North America pass on their wisdom to both students and their supervisors. Edited by Matthew Floding, director of field education at Western Seminary, this volume covers critical topics such as the art of supervision and formation, the use of case studies and peer reflection groups, self-care and ministerial ethics, and assessment. The next generation of ministers, if they are to be more fully formed for ministry, depends on skilled mentoring alongside wise supervisors. This book is the tool to help them make
Volume 1 2011, Number 1