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The pastoral office has always been a difficult calling.Today, the pastor is often asked to fulfill multiple roles: preacher, teacher, therapist, administrator, CEO. How can pastors thrive amid such demands?
What is needed is a contemporary pastoral rule: a pattern for ministry that both encourages pastors and enables them to focus on what is most important in their pastoral task.
This book, coauthored by three experts with decades of practical experience, explains how relying on a pastoral rule has benefited communities throughout the church's history and how such rules have functioned in the lives and work of figures such as Augustine, Calvin, Wesley, and Bonhoeffer. It also provides concrete advice on how pastors can develop and keep a rule that will help both them and their congregations to flourish.
"If you are a pastor who is feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities, intimidated by social challenges, or simply uncertain about your priorities for how to spend your time and energy, then please read this book. It will relieve you of false burdens, embolden your ministry of the Word, and energize you for your true pastoral vocation. And, for those contemplating a call to become ministers of the gospel, this book provides a rule of 'plumb'—namely, a practical plan for stewarding the mysteries of God and for making the potentially crooked pastoral path straight. Highly recommended."
--- Kevin J. Vanhoozer, research professor of systematic theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Acknowledgments Introduction: Why Pastors Need a Rule 1. The Grace of Theological Friendships: Augustine 2. "The Work of Obedience": Benedict 3. The Holiness That Stoops to Serve: Gregory the Great 4. "All the Ministers Shall Meet Together": John Calvin 5. Choosing Your Words Carefully: John Wesley 6. The Pastor's Study: John Henry Newman 7. The Gift of Physical Presence: Dietrich Bonhoeffer 8. A Contemporary Pastoral Rule Conclusion: Developing and Practicing a Pastoral Rule Scripture Index