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Facing Messy Stuff in the Church: Case Studies for Pastors and Congregations

Overview

Ministry is messy business. As a pastor or church leader, you interact regularly with people struggling with depression, sexual harassment, pornography, divorce, the effects of abortion, and other serious issues. You are called upon to work through these crises, but may feel very unequipped to do so.

In this collection of fifteen case studies, Kenneth Swetland prepares church leaders to deal with the messy stuff head on, rather than merely doing damage control after the problems...

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Overview

Ministry is messy business. As a pastor or church leader, you interact regularly with people struggling with depression, sexual harassment, pornography, divorce, the effects of abortion, and other serious issues. You are called upon to work through these crises, but may feel very unequipped to do so.

In this collection of fifteen case studies, Kenneth Swetland prepares church leaders to deal with the messy stuff head on, rather than merely doing damage control after the problems have erupted. Each chapter presents a real-life crisis and leads the reader to work through careful biblical responses to it. Included are discussion questions for each case study, an appendix for discussion facilitators, and a bibliography of additional resources on the particular issues raised.

Kenneth L. Swetland (D.Min., Andover Newton Theological School) has been academic dean and professor of pastoral ministry at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary for more than thirty-two years, and is now Campus Chaplain. He is the author of The Hidden World of the Pastor: Case Studies on Personal Issues of Real Pastors.

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Editorial Reviews

Bishop-Accountability.org
Every pastor and chaplain who deals with the complex problems of this 'anything-goes' 21st Century, will benefit from this book. It is also invaluable for every seminary student and new pastor who hasn't lived long enough to deal with many of life's messes on behalf of the God of mercy and grace. Even so, the messy stuff profiled in this book is enough to sober even the most seasoned of pastors. It is frank, raw, and instructive. At times, overwhelming. And these are all real cases in various denominational settings in various parts of the country. The challenging (as well as sensitive) messes dealt with in this excellent Kregel Publications release are dealt with forthrightly.
— Rev. Austin Miles
CBA Marketplace
Swetland, who teaches pastoral counseling at Gordon-Cromwell Seminary, has compiled real case studiesññchanging only people's and churches' namesññto offer a candid look at thorny pastoral problems. His profiles don't offer solutions, but examine sin's skein-like messiness to show what church leadership faces and how pastors can take action. The problems are often more complicated than they appear. Issues range from the repeatedly repentant alcoholic to the mild-mannered sexual deviant who is an expert liar to the upstanding citizen and model church member who is an adulterer. . . . Recommend this book to pastors and Christian counselors who aren't looking for easy answers.
— Gerry Wisz
Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox
"Combining accessibility with scholarly depth, Jesus Under Fire examines the authenticity of the words, actions, miracles, and resurrection of Jesus and presents compelling evidence for the traditional biblical teachings."
Churchquest.com
"Facing Messy Stuff lends itself to group studies. It would be well for local pastors' organizations to do this among themselves using Swetland's book as a text. In addition, this is a reference book that should always be near the pastor's fingertips. A noted chaplain who works in the San Francisco Bay area, Rev. Carson Curcini, after looking over the notes for this review, stated: ""This is a very important book for pastors...especially for this day and age that we live in."" To that this minister can give a hearty ""Amen!"" Facing Messy Stuff in the Church should be in every pastor's and chaplain's library."
— Rev. Austin Miles
Ministries Today
"Reading this book by Kenneth L. Swetland seemed a little like watching those daytime talk shows &[grave;a la Dr. Phil, Oprah or The Jerry Springer Show]. Each chapter is a well-crafted presentation of some disturbing and [unfortunately] highly relevant case studies."
AgapePress
These are the problems that are coming up with increased regularity in churches today in a world of chaos and confusion. And pastors and chaplains must be equipped to handle them spiritually, professionally, and most importantly of all—effectively. This book teaches how to deal with these problems — as the author states [and teaches] — head-on.
— Austin Miles
www.Churchquest.com
Facing Messy Stuff lends itself to group studies. It would be well for local pastors' organizations to do this among themselves using Swetland's book as a text. In addition, this is a reference book that should always be near the pastor's fingertips. A noted chaplain who works in the San Francisco Bay area, Rev. Carson Curcini, after looking over the notes for this review, stated: "This is a very important book for pastors...especially for this day and age that we live in." To that this minister can give a hearty "Amen!" Facing Messy Stuff in the Church should be in every pastor's and chaplain's library.
— Rev. Austin Miles
CBA Marketplace - Gerry Wisz
"Swetland, who teaches pastoral counseling at Gordon-Cromwell Seminary, has compiled real case studiesññchanging only people's and churches' namesññto offer a candid look at thorny pastoral problems. His profiles don't offer solutions, but examine sin's skein-like messiness to show what church leadership faces and how pastors can take action. The problems are often more complicated than they appear. Issues range from the repeatedly repentant alcoholic to the mild-mannered sexual deviant who is an expert liar to the upstanding citizen and model church member who is an adulterer. . . . Recommend this book to pastors and Christian counselors who aren't looking for easy answers."
AgapePress - Austin Miles
"These are the problems that are coming up with increased regularity in churches today in a world of chaos and confusion. And pastors and chaplains must be equipped to handle them spiritually, professionally, and most importantly of all--effectively. This book teaches how to deal with these problems -- as the author states [and teaches] -- head-on."
www.Churchquest.com - Rev. Austin Miles
Every pastor and chaplain who deals with the complex problems of this 'anything-goes' 21st Century, will benefit from this book. It is also invaluable for every seminary student and new pastor who hasn't lived long enough to deal with many of life's messes on behalf of the God of mercy and grace. Even so, the messy stuff profiled in this book is enough to sober even the most seasoned of pastors. It is frank, raw, and instructive. At times, overwhelming. And these are all real cases in various denominational settings in various parts of the country. The challenging (as well as sensitive) messes dealt with in this excellent Kregel Publications release are dealt with forthrightly.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780825436963
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 856,976
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.66 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth L. Swetland (D.Min., Andover Newton Theological School; M.Div., Gordon Divinity School) has been academic dean and professor of pastoral ministries at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary for more than thirty years. He is the author of The Hidden World of the Pastor: Case Studies on Personal Issues of Real Pastors.
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