Diary of a Pastor's Soul: The Holy Moments in a Life of Ministry

Diary of a Pastor's Soul: The Holy Moments in a Life of Ministry

by M. Craig Barnes


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Christianity Today 2021 Book Award Winner (The Church/Pastoral Leadership Award of Merit)

Diary of a Pastor's Soul
tells the story of a fictionalized pastor, embarking on his final year before retirement, who reflects on the experiences and relationships that have formed his vocation and shaped his soul over a lifetime of pastoral ministry.

Drawing on his own experiences, seasoned pastor Craig Barnes invites readers to embrace the life lessons of a pastor who has been formed by his failures and his fleeting moments of glory, but most of all by discovering the holy in the routine but often quirky duties of being a parish pastor.
Through 52 weekly thematic entries, Barnes presents spirituality in narrative form through a collection of interwoven stories about learning to love others with curiosity, amazement, vulnerability, and most of all gratitude for the grace found in flawed lives.

Barnes's fictionalized diary approach creatively shows how the pastoral vocation forms mind, heart, and soul, helping pastors make sense of their own calling. With unvarnished honesty, this book eloquently illustrates a lifetime of ministry, revealing how "the Holy haunts the landscape of life."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781587434440
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/19/2020
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 460,950
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

M. Craig Barnes (PhD, University of Chicago) is president of Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, where he also serves as professor of pastoral ministry. He previously taught at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and has pastored several churches. Barnes frequently speaks and preaches across the country, writes regularly for the Christian Century, and is the author of numerous books, including Searching for Home, When God Interrupts, Sacred Thirst, Hustling God, The Pastor as Minor Poet, and Yearning.

Table of Contents


Prologue by the Diarist
Week One: Writing the Faith in Stone
Week Two: A Faithfully Anonymous Pastor
Week Three: The Pastor's Wife and the Mustang
Week Four: Pastoral Care as Déjà Vu
Week One: Saying "I Love You"
Week Two: A Sunday with the New York Times
Week Three: In-Laws and the Priest Thing
Week Four: The Blessing of Old Faith
Week One: Pastor, Not Friend
Week Two: Beth, Our New Financial Planner
Week Three: Letting Go of Mac the Custodian
Week Four: Pastoral Lessons from My Sheepdog
Week One: Falling from Illusions
Week Two: The Pastor's Home
Week Three: The Grace of Being Ordinary
Week Four: The Study
Week Five: "It Hurt My Feelings"
Week One: The Sin I Can't Forgive
Week Two: Finding Gravitas When You're Young
Week Three: The Pastor on the Doctor's Table
Week Four: The Pastor's Pastor
Week Five: Humility to the End
Week One: Our Faith and My Faith
Week Two: Frantically Preparing for the Prince of Peace
Week Three: A Young Pastor in Deep Waters
Week Four: A Wedding for the Nonbeliever
Christmas Eve: Being Joseph in the Pageant
Week One: The Long, Gray Days of Ministry
Week Two: The Obituary Writer
Week Three: The Pastoral Search Committee
Week Four Announcing the Retirement 000
Week Five: Listening to a Friend
Week One: Making Sense of a Pastor's Cancer
Week Two: A Wintry Funeral for Young Teddy
Week Three: The Blessed Church Lady
Week Four: Taking the Heat for God
Week One: The Weary Partisan
Week Two: I Was Done with Words
Week Three: The Redemption of Early Mistakes
Week Four: The Loss of Saturday Nights
Week Five: Call Finds a Way
Week One: Struggling to Say "Behold"
Week Two: The Real Problem with Being Visible
Week Three: Hard Lessons on Flannelgraph
Week Four: Finally Loving Easter
Week One: The Beloved Horse's Ass
Week Two: Getting It Wrong with Race and Gender
Week Three: The Adored Director of Music
Week Four: You're Dead Right
Week Five: Dad, Not Pastor
Week One: Seeking the Holy
Week Two: When I Can No Longer Blame Work
Week Three: Still Holding Back Part of Me
Week Four: The Last Surprise

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