Straining at the Oars: Case Studies in Pastoral Leadership

Straining at the Oars: Case Studies in Pastoral Leadership

by H. Dana Fearon III, Gordon S. Mikoski


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A common complaint of recent seminary graduates is their lack of preparation in practical theology, especially in the tasks of leadership. New pastors encounter a host of challenges that can seem overwhelming.

Biblically oriented, wise, and reassuring, Dana Fearon presents twenty-one difficult situations that young ministers are likely to face on the job, including prayer in the hospital room, a request to baptize a dead infant, handling conflict and criticism, entering dangerous areas to reconcile hostile groups, and others. As part of his discussion, Fearon presents and reviews his own response to such situations, using his theological education and long experience in church ministry to instruct others.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802868664
Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date: 03/26/2013
Pages: 138
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

H. Dana Fearon III is pastor emeritus of the Presbyterian Church of Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and was a longtime guest lecturer at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Gordon S. Mikoski is associate professor of Christianeducation at Princeton Theological Seminary and editor ofTheology Today.,

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Introduction xiii

Acknowledgments xix

1 Baptizing a Baby Who Has Died 1

2 Hard Questions about Prayer 6

3 Teach Us How to Pray 10

4 Making Waves 15

5 Moving Power to the Proper Place 19

6 The Congregation Teaches Preaching 25

7 The Pastor's Day (and Evening) 28

8 Having Friends, Not Cronies 33

9 Needing Help and Accepting It 38

10 Wearing the Collar 42

11 Placing the Flag 48

12 Criticisms and Conflict 53

13 Baptisms and Marriages 58

14 An Unexpected Renewal of Faith 64

15 The Least of These 69

16 Two Guests in the House of the Lord 74

17 Meddling in Community Affairs 80

18 Helping Laity Find Their Gifts 88

19 Developing Spirituality in the Governing Board 94

20 Staff Dynamics 98

21 Setting a New Course 103

Epilogue: The Surprising Presence 112

Bibliography 117

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