Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Managers and Adolescents

I am currently reading The Unnecessary Pastor by Marva Dawn and Eugene Peterson.  If I am totally honest I think it is a bit of a mixed bag.  It is coming from a slightly different theology than my own (but I can live with it).  However, where it is good it is excellent.  It has some fascinating insights into the western church and our pastoral model.

Peterson makes the following observation: 
'I am in conversation right now with a dozen or so men and women who are preparing to be pastors and who are waiting to be called by a congregation.  And I am having the depressing experience of reading congregational descriptions of what these churches want in a pastor.  With hardly an exception they don't want pastors at all - they want managers of their religious company.  They want a pastor they can follow so they won't have to bother with following Jesus anymore.'
Dawn writes,
'One of the problems in churches these days is that we have too many adolescents and not enough sons.  To be an adolescent is still to clamour for instant gratification.  To be a son in the sense used by the biblical writers is to be trained to fulfill the Father's mission and to know that always with the rights of sonship come attendant responsibilities.  To be a son is to be the agent of the Father and do the Father's work.  This requires obligation, commitment, and accountability.'


nickdmcknight@gmail.com said...

It is indeed a mixed bag. The Marva Dawn bits I could leave in the bag. Pbeterson is a legend and helps to seperate the sheep from the goats regarding pastoral ministry.

To whom it may concern said...

Thanks for the comment.
I am reading this book for an essay on pastoral ministry. If you have any other books you could recommend I would be interested.
I must admit the Peterson parts really resonate with me.

nickdmcknight@gmail.com said...

Look out for The Contemplative Pastor, Working the Angles, 5 Smooth Stones & Living under the Unpredictable Plant. They are all by Peterson. I would really recommend the Unpredicable Plant.