Release Date: December 23, 2015
Buy the Book:
Ministry Discernment, Disasters, Redemption
Help and hope for those exploring church leadership or already in ministry positions. An experienced ministry leader and pastoral counselor with a PhD in marriage and family counseling/addiction intervention helps others discern their own ministry calls, avoid ministry disasters, and develop healthy spiritual leadership. Issues pertinent to real-life church leadership are explored: from identifying destructive church leadership, highlighting the hallmarks of redeemed churches, to helping fallen leaders. Students exploring a call, wounded believers, or pastors sidelined by familial patterns of behavior will find this a helpful, practical look at the possibilities and downsides in the world of Christian ministry.
“Your insights and explanations certainly are accurate from my experience over the years. I have seen clergy and congregations struggle through the consequences of destructive behavior stemming from unresolved issues in the lives of parish leaders…clergy and lay. Your book is an important read for clergy and lay leaders as it provides guidance in helping with the discernment process, and gives practical assistance in helping the “fallen” recover…both clergy and laity within our church families.”
-The Rev. Dennis G. Fotinos, retired
"...it was inspiring to me that you were able to discern and respond, step by step, the ways in which you were being led. It speaks to me a lot about faith and your relationship with God."
I felt the vibration and heard the telltale “b’ring.” I sighed and hesitated. The last time I answered my smartphone the voice on the other end wanted me to support “Flowers for the Friendless.” I answered, “I don’t accept solicitations over the phone,” then hit end call.
Maybe I’ll let the caller speak to my voice mail. If he really wants to reach me, he can text.
The last time I listened to my voice mail a voice had said, “If you want to make a call, hang up and try again.”
With the urgency of finishing culling through e-mails disrupting my thoughts, I swiped the screen and said, “Hello! May I help you?” Dead silence. “Hello!” I tried again. “Who’s calling please?”
Now I was prepared. If a voice asked, “Is this Mary Webb or the lady of the house?” I planned to hang up before the inevitable appeal, or listen to the appeal and then give my standard response about phone solicitations. In case the voice gave his name and called me by my familiar nickname, Terry, I could relax and listen.
But do I listen when God calls? He doesn’t ordinarily call on cell phones. Growing up in a pastor’s family, I knew all about “calls” from God, because that’s why we moved from one town to another. With each prospective move, my parents told me God had “called” my father to serve in a new church in another town. I found out when I reached adulthood that sometimes the “calls” had more to do with a better salary in the new church than in the old one, or because of my father’s belief that a clergyman did not stay in one church more than a few years.
So how does anyone today experience a “call” from God? My good friend, Betsy, listens to God every morning for his direction for that day. According to Dave Harvey in his book, Am I Called? The Summons to Pastoral Ministry,1 one may think one hears a calling, but how does one really know? How can one be sure? Pastor Harvey places special emphasis on the importance of the church recognizing and affirming leadership and character in determining someone’s true call for ministry.”