- The Dangerous Practice of Ministry: Preparing to Serve
- A monthly book discussion for masters level students. Kurt Fredrickson, Associate Dean for Doctor of Ministry and Continuing Education, leads the discussion.
- It sponsored by the Doctor of Ministry Program and the Berry Center for Lifelong Learning.
- Tuesday October 14 12 Noon. Student Services Building 250 North Madison–Second Floor
In a recent blog post (Lucid Theology) Eugene Peterson shared how he would advise seminary students. He said: “I’d tell them that pastoring is not a very glamorous job. It’s a very taking-out-the-laundry and changing-the-diapers kind of job. And I think I would try to disabuse them of any romantic ideas of what it is.”
I loved being a pastor of a local congregation., almost every moment of it. I served on the pastoral staff of Simi (Evangelical) Covenant Church in Simi Valley, CA for 24 years, eighteen of those years as senior pastor. I know the joys of pastoral ministry and its challenges.
Being a pastor is a wonderful vocation. One poll found that 87% of pastors were “very satisfied” with their job. Another survey found that 93% of pastors felt overwhelmingly privileged to be in their position. Pastors walk with people through the good and the bad. Sometimes the work can be described as joyous mountain top experiences; most of the time, the best work happens, in the ordinary and the routine. In season, and out of season, pastors work: sharing the Good News, shaping a worshiping and Jesus-following community, preaching and teaching, and, making a difference in the neighborhood.
Pastors often feel loved and supported, but the work is not always easy. Pastors get criticized; they meet mean sheep. Pastors experience fatigue and burnout.. Over half of pastors surveyed in one report say they easily get discouraged. And again, over 50% of pastors say that they feel lonely at times. It’s a good life, but it is tough.
As a pastor, there were times I felt alone, and I thought I was the only one struggling in the job. I found help in being part of a small group of pastor friends who met on a regular basis, and kept in touch by phone in between meetings. . We shared our lives with each other. We prayed for each other. We helped each other through the rough spots.
This monthly book club is a place for those who are involved in, or who plan to be involved in pastoral ministry. We will focus on developing a better understanding of the wonders and craziness of being a pastor, “de-romantacizing” the work if you will, and we will discuss how to build good practices into our lives in order to do the work with joy and to finish well.
Each month we will discuss a book, share our lives, and pray for each other. I hope you will consider being a part of this discussion. Come whenever you can. You are not making a commitment for life!
- Our next meeting will be on Tuesday October 14 from 12 Noon-1:00 in the DMIN Lounge 250 North Madison, Second Floor
- This month will be discussing Fail: Finding Hope and Grace in the Midst of Ministry Failure by JR Briggs
- Bring your own lunch
- Please RSVP at https://docs.google.com/a/fuller.edu/forms/d/1Kt0GgQIjfCa5sh4WVQgzylRIsvI87LFzRnc44_YBihM/viewform