What does it take to have fruitful ministry over the long haul? The stresses of pastoring are well known and can be a match for even the best-prepared, most experienced in ministry--multiple tasks, long hours, taxing responsibilities and, yes, some challenging personalities. Too often the results can be burnout, being run out or just feeling worn out. To find out how pastors can thrive as well as survive, the authors undertook a five-year in-depth research project among working pastors. Here in this ground-breaking book is the distilled wisdom of dozens of pastors who have been on the front lines of ministry. We hear from them what works, what doesn't and what distinctive issues people in ministry face. The authors uncover five key themes that promote healthy, sustainable ministry that lasts--spiritual formation, self-care, emotional and cultural intelligence, marriage and family, leadership and management. These themes are unpacked from the vantage point of ministry on the ground. Questions for personal evaluation and reflection are included throughout the book to bring home the significance of each section. This is the perfect companion for a peer cohort of pastors to read together. It can also be of value to church boards and others who want to better understand how to help sustain their pastors in ministry. In short, this is a book pastors can't live without.
What Pastors Told Us about Surviving and Thriving
Mind, Body & Spirit