Pastors off the Record: Straight Talk about Life in the Ministry

Overview

Since his Christian life began a quarter of a century ago, journalist Stefan Ulstein had enjoyed the company of ordained ministers. But he noticed that many seemed guarded. Eventually he realized this was a "professional distance," that ministers rarely feel free to speak openly with laypersons. So he decided to interview pastors - from Canada, the United States and Mexico; spanning several denominations; from small rural churches to burgeoning megachurches. Now, with fascinating, sometimes startling candidness, ...
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1993 Trade paperback New. No dust jacket as issued. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

Since his Christian life began a quarter of a century ago, journalist Stefan Ulstein had enjoyed the company of ordained ministers. But he noticed that many seemed guarded. Eventually he realized this was a "professional distance," that ministers rarely feel free to speak openly with laypersons. So he decided to interview pastors - from Canada, the United States and Mexico; spanning several denominations; from small rural churches to burgeoning megachurches. Now, with fascinating, sometimes startling candidness, they speak off the record and tell what the ministry is really like, in all its anguish and delight. In these pages you'll hear from a megachurch minister who must literally leave the state to find time alone. From a pastor and young parent who announced to his congregation, "If any one of you ever again comes to me with a criticism of my kids and says, 'After all, they are the pastor's kids,' I'll nail you to the wall. I will not have my kids growing up to hate my job or my God." From an inner-city minister lamenting the difficulty of reaching gang members: "It's hard to watch kids ruin their lives and finally come to the church in a coffin." This is a unique and desperately needed book that will encourage working pastors, inform prospective ministers, and help the man and woman in the pew to better understand and appreciate their pastor.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780830813469
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/1993
  • Pages: 252

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9
Introduction 11
Pt. 1 Personal Stress 15
1 The Meter Is Always Running 17
2 Like a Diesel Engine Without a Governor 23
3 I Felt My Life Had Been Thirty-two Years of Fraud 33
Pt. 2 No Blueprints 41
4 Keeping Up with Rapid Growth 43
5 Hanging On in the Inner City 49
6 Baby Boomers and the Talking Bush 57
7 Sin, Not Skin 63
8 Pastoring a Mexican Church 69
Pt. 3 If Bigger Is Better ... 77
9 Living in the Shadow of the Big Churches 79
10 Why Should God Give Us Converts? 83
Pt. 4 Splitting Up 87
11 The Bishop Wanted a Different Outreach 89
12 Tradition Was like a God 99
Pt. 5 Serving All Faiths 107
13 Ministering to a Transient Population 109
14 I Don't Tell Them Where I Live 117
15 Tell The Parents Their Son Has Been Killed 121
Pt. 6 Staying Open 125
16 Never Forget Your Calling 127
17 Becoming Transparent 129
18 When My Wife Left, It Was Not a Surprise 135
19 Maintaining the Standards of a Holy God 139
Pt. 7 Bearing Burdens 147
20 Their Biggest Need Is What I Was Instructed to Ignore 149
21 Let My People Grow 155
22 Don't Deny My People's Pain 161
23 Seeing Indian People Delivered 169
24 Maintaining a Witness in the Glitter 175
25 Sometimes the Pain Is That Close to the Surface 183
26 The Sixty-seventh Book 197
Pt. 8 Keeping the Faith 201
27 The Only Church in Town 203
28 Christ Is in History, and So Is the Church 209
29 It Was a Surprise for Us All 215
30 A Career Is Not the Same as a Calling 223
31 Life and Death in the City 229
32 No Students or Shoppers 235
Afterword 245
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