Category: Ministry

The Pastor Theologian (Hiestand and Wilson)

Yet why should the Church not be the best and most ideal environment for good theology? Yes, ministry is a busy life. Between pastoral visits, emergencies, funerals, weddings, prep for sermons and classes, handling some administrative duties, and the inevitable arrival of unexpected visitors it seems like one has little time left to sit down at the desk and read, study, research, and write. And yet all of these tasks are the fertile grounds on which good theology is done. They are the lifeblood of the Church in which the Spirit moves invisibly and sometimes visibly. The question is not whether good theology can come from the Church. It is why hasn’t more come out of the church!

You Lost Me (Kinnaman)

All of us have felt our peers’ desire to do things differently, to see church in a new light; to work towards what we feel like is a real glimpse of the kingdom of God. We are not apologists of the “old ways” or fanatics for everything novel. We found ourselves in traditional ministerial contexts, and not elsewhere, and are trying to live faithfully and authentically in the church contexts that raised us to live faithfully and authentically. David Kinnaman’s You Lost Me is one part explanation, one part hopeful dreaming about the phenomenon of us Mosaics/Millenials and our beef with churches.

The Wounded Healer (Nouwen)

Henri Nouwen is among the hallowed names spoken with reverence and awe among ministers.

Nouwen is a complex man made simple, and he’s one of the best at condensing deep and complex issues into simple, accessible matters without, at the same time, oversimplifying or butchering them.

Open Secrets (Lischer)

Richard Lischer, Open Secrets: A Memoir of Faith and Discovery New York: Broadway Books, 2001. My wife stumbled onto this book almost providentially at a bookstore just a few weeks prior to starting our first preaching position in the rural town of Junction, Texas. Open Secrets tracks the life of a young Lutheran pastor at…

Slow Church (Smith & Pattison)

Christopher Smith & John Pattison, Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2014. “How many kids are in your church/youth group?” An innocent enough question, but the most common, and often the only question I get asked. Apparently we have as a culture developed a significant and…

Healthy Congregations (Steinke)

I selected this as my first book because I am beginning a preaching ministry in a new church and I wanted to get a grasp on the general features of healthy congregations. I also, and arguably primarily, chose it because it was short.  ——————- Peter L. Steinke, Healthy Congregations: A Systems Approach Herndon, VA: The…

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