Ambition in Ministry: Our Spiritual Struggle with Success, Achievement and Competition

Overview

The drive to excel. The need to achieve. The desire to compete. These are concerns that face every pastor, but rarely are these issues discussed openly. Pastors, like other professionals, are human beings who have a need to achieve. Unfortunately, because pastors are expected to be models of altruism, this need frequently goes unrecognized or is denied outright. Pastors then are faced with the problem of learning to channel this unexpressed desire into positive, healthy avenues, while they struggle at the same ...

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Overview

The drive to excel. The need to achieve. The desire to compete. These are concerns that face every pastor, but rarely are these issues discussed openly. Pastors, like other professionals, are human beings who have a need to achieve. Unfortunately, because pastors are expected to be models of altruism, this need frequently goes unrecognized or is denied outright. Pastors then are faced with the problem of learning to channel this unexpressed desire into positive, healthy avenues, while they struggle at the same time to curb any feelings of self-serving ambition. They must discover how to balance the needs of their vocation with their own need to compete. And pastors must silently confront and resolve issues of personal integrity that relate to the never-ending struggle for bucks, bodies, and souls.

At last, Robert Schnase brings this potentially dark side of ministry to light. In Ambition in Ministry, he examines the motivations for accomplishment in ministry and, in so doing, identifies a number of power-hungry personality types: the Wily Politico, the Spiteful Malcontent, the Favor Currier, the Arbitrary Intervener, and others. Schnase demonstrates how such persons destroy community and develop a politics of manipulation or resignation in ministry. Ambition in Ministry confronts these issues openly in order to help pastors recognize their feelings in this area and to suggest ways clergy can use natural aspirations to strengthen their ministry and avoid the destructive, life-sapping desires of self-promoting ambition. Essential reading for every ministry professional.

Through a series of polarities, Schnase, a former pastor who knows the yearnings of the clergy, discloses the ambiguity present in pastors, as they struggle to achieve, while keeping their appetities for ambition, excellence, and competition under control. "A balanced and hopeful analysis of one of the shadow sides of the ministry."--Bishop Rueben Job.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780687301447
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1993
  • Pages: 132
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Schnase is bishop of the Missouri Conference of The United Methodist Church. Previously, he served as pastor of First United Methodist Church, McAllen, Texas. Schnase is the author of Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, a best-selling book on congregational ministry that has ignited a common interest among churches and their leaders around its themes of radical hospitality, passionate worship, intentional faith development, risk-taking mission and service, and extravagant generosity. Five Practices has reached a global community with translations in Korean, Spanish, Russian, Hungarian, and German. Robert is also the author of Cultivating Fruitfulness, The Balancing Act, Five Practices of Fruitful Living, Ambition in Ministry, and Testing and Reclaiming Your Call to Ministry. Robert lives in Columbia, Missouri.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 7
Ch. 1 Achievement and Appetite: The Blessing and Curse of Ambition 9
Ch. 2 Individualism and Competition: The Sources of Ambition 22
Ch. 3 Ardent Desires and Deadly Appetites: Ambition Misdirected 42
Ch. 4 Bodies and Bucks: The Struggle for Integrity 62
Ch. 5 Influence Peddlers and Mathematical Magicians: The Politics of Ministry 79
Ch. 6 Accountable and Complete: The Gift of Living for Others 100
Epilogue: Always Excelling . . . 120
Notes 126
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