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The Pastor As Minor Poet: Pastoral Calling & Identity in the Twenty-first Century
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. / 2008 / Paperback
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Struggling with your identity as a pastor? Let pastor/seminary professor M. Craig Barnes cast some light on the murkiness. He will guide you into a greater understanding of your role as a bard or poet to your congregation.
M. Craig Barnes is the Robert Meneilly Professor of Leadership and Ministry at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and serves as senior pastor of Shadyside Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh.
The most difficult thing about being a pastor today, says M. Craig Barnes, is not any one of the things one might normally assume the long hours, demanding congregations, eclectic responsibilities, etc. but the confusion about what it really means to be the pastor. Too often, pastors are defined in terms of their success. Barnes contends that the true calling of a pastor is to assist others in becoming fully alive in Christ to be what Barnes calls a minor poet. The pastor absorbs the wisdom of the major poets biblical as well as the churchs theological poets and distills its essence for parishioners. The heart of the message is always the same: to understand what it means to be made in Gods image, to be Gods people.
The Pastor as Minor Poet explores the contemporary challenges of parish ministry and invites the pastor to respond not with more innovations but by recovering the clergys historic belief in words. The role of minor poet does not promise an easy life but Barnes is adamant that, when pastors embrace the holiness of this calling, it is marked by the hard-won joy of uncovering and declaring Gods word to his people. About
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