Pastoral Politics: Why Preachers Resign  -     By: John Gilmore
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Pastoral Politics: Why Preachers Resign

AMG Publishers / 2002 / Paperback

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Product Description

Dr. Gilmore provides honest reflections on the pros and cons of current Protestant church policies. With both humor and honesty, he deals with such manners "when to leave," "why one is asked to leave" and "principled-protest resignations" are necessary. These bumpy pastoral exits also have both their horror and humor. A key feature of this book is its ability to see good and genuine humor in grueling experiences. This is not a grudge-book, nor is a payback for current and past mistreatment. The author does not advise a pastor to quit just because he is facing conflict. This book provides the church board and the pastor valuable insights--theologically, psychologically, and procedurally--enabling pastors and members to be more flexible and charitable. This book is necessary reading for church board members, seminary students with a pastoral calling, and every pastor who has and could face the prospects of moving on.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: AMG Publishers
Publication Date: 2002
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 0899573584
ISBN-13: 9780899573588
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description


Does it seem to you that ministers just  don't say in pastorates as log as they used to? While some would assert that forced pastoral exist are on the rise, author John Gilmore believes that pastoral exist are more than a current trend-they are a historical phenomenon.


Pastoral Politics addresses the many issues related to why pastor move from one church to another. No other book on the market has taken the trouble to delve into church history and personal testimonies to find those forgotten cases of famous and lesser-known pushed-out pastors-to see what went wrong and why.


Dr. Gilmore deals with thorny subjects concerning when ministers should leave and when"principled-protest resignations" are necessary. A key feature of Pastoral Politics is its ability to see good and genuine humor in grueling experiences.

Pastoral Politics is not a grudge-book, nor is it a payback book for current and past mistreatment. The book provides the church board and the pastor valuable insights-theologically, psychologically and procedurally-enabling  pastors and members to be more flexible and charitable. The book is necessary reading for church board members, seminary students and every pastor who has and could face the prospects of moving on.






Author Bio

Dr.John Gilmore has thirty-six years of pastoral experience and has served as Professor of Philosophy and religion at Wilkes University. Currently, John conducts clinics around the country called "Seminars for Curious Christians" and has recently accepted the post of Adjunct Professor of Theology at the newly formed seminary, Wellspring School of Theology in suburban Cincinnati, OH. John has five other published books to his credit, including Probing Heaven: Key Questions on the Hereafter and Ambushed at Sunset: Coping with Mature Adult Temptations. John and his wife Roberta reside in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Editorial Reviews

"[ Pastoral Politics] is a hard-hitting, no-nonsense treatise designed to lead readers to an understanding of "church politics' and ecclesiastical resignations. For the layman, and for many would-be pastors, Dr. Gilmore reveals the 'inside story' on why some clergy have been forced to consider vacating their ministries and moving on to other positions."




"Dr. Gilmore writes well: He is both interesting and informative. Pastoral Politics takes a neglected and touchy subject and, among other things, includes the idea that rather than resigning from their work, many preachers would do  well to resign themselves to it. A good idea! This is a book that explores many aspects of resignation...It meets a real need."

        Dr. Jay Adams

Christian Counselor/Author

"The problems of the modern pastorate are legion. Some ministers fail morally. Most are faithful and yet experience great difficulty when their church rejects their leadership in various ways. In my experience, serving churches of all types across America, I believe nothing creates greater stress in the lives of many Christians (often leaving scars for the rest of their earthly life), and specially in the minister's own family, than when a pastor is forced to leave a ministry. The problem is now epidemic and the reasons are profoundly varied and deeply systemic. John Gilmore has carefully opened the window on this problem in a way that no other writer has previously accomplish. Sadly, this book is desperately needed. it will help both ministers and lay leaders face a major hindrance to the work of God's Spirit in our churches.

Reformation in both the ordination and the equipping of our ministers is a great need in our day. Churches learning how to respond properly to their ministers is an equally great need. This book provides an important tool reforming many of the bad patterns in pastor/congregation relationship. I recommend it highly."

Dr. John H. Armstrong



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Author/Artist Review

Author: Dr. John Gilmore
Located in: Cincinnati, OH
Submitted: October 23, 2002

    Tell us a little about yourself.  I'm a seasoned published author with 36 years pastoral experience: 25 years as a Congregationalist and 11 years as an American Baptist. The book goes into select instances from these years without making the book a collection of "look at me" events. Pastoral Politics is my 6th book. The others are in the areas of eschatology, senior studies, and Gospel history. These works are: Probing Heaven (Key Questions on the Hereafter)--4 printings in US; reprinted in UK in 2000; in Korean from 1995 on); Too Young to Be Old (Secrets from Bible Seniors on how to Live Long and Well), Harold Shaw publisher, now out of print, but many of the comments can be found in the Zondervan Senior Devotional Bible. Ambushed At Sunset (Coping with Mature Temptations), came out in 1998. It deals with temptations especially strong to those over age 50. Lotto: Fun or Folly? was published by Paternoster Press, UK. It is 315 pages with discussion questions after each of the 12 chapters, ideal for small groups. It deals, as other Christian books don't, with the casting of lots in the Bible, with Puritan comments (88 pages), with the matter of stock investments and gambling. Best seller # 6 in the Paternoster line. The Trials of Christ (Moral Failings in 4 Judges) is the result of 30 years reflection and study. It deals with the evils of the elite. In its 175 pages the significant exegetical questions on the trials are handled in a comprehensive, yet concise and compelling way. Published in Scotland (Christian Focus) it will well reward any reader.

    What was your motivation behind this project?  Seminaries frequently only skim over pastoral closure. Laypeople, however, discuss pastoral effectiveness, often weekly. More recently many books have come out on church conflicts. Much of the stuff is helpful, but slides over the spiritual conflict behind the organizational snags. I wrote Pastoral Politics because so much has been left unsaid about leadership conflicts that stem from the conflict between light and darkness. My book deals with pastoral closure over many centuries and in different countries. The more autocratic polity systems as well as the autonomously ordered church histories are explored. The book takes a second, deeper look at those who have too much say, or too much pull and push. Nevertheless, each tight situation has its humor, too. The ridiculousness of the power struggles is balanced with the humorousness of the games of territorial tangles.

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  Pastoral Politics is a see through the gloom and pick-me-up kind of book. Pastors will get their second wind or a whiff of energizing spiritual oxygen from it. Various theological orientations get exposure. And there is the lighter stuff as well--humor is indexed for quick reference. I identify with the local pastor at many levels and the reader will find in the book much encouragement as well as practical tips on what to do. I have other material related to the subject which could be shared in a visiting professor capacity if any seminaries would wish me to present a course on pastoral closure. Email me at, write (P. O. Box 24064, Cincinnati, OH 45224), or call (513)-522- 3278.

    Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists?  Pastoral Politics is unique. It deals in detail with significant pastoral dismissals. It is the only book on the market that shows famous and less well-known pastors forced out of churches. It is meant to spare prospective, new pastors needless pain. It deals especially with the spiritual battle that takes place when the Gospel is presented and pressed. It abounds with insight and ways to cope when "the going gets rough." Church polities play a significant role in the process of entrance and closure. It deals with the ouster of ministers in congregational, Presbyterian, and Episcopal polities. It has the statistics, but more importantly the stories. The book describes how difficult situations have been handled. Blame is equally shared for ministerial ousters. I don't hammer on one particular church officer, such as a church treasurer. The book explores and exposes the all-too-frequent, feeble denominational support of pastors sometimes unjustly ridiculed and removed. The book is a rapid read. Lay members and clergy can find needed insight and inspiration.

    Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know:  Pastoral Politics has received enthusiastic endorsements from D. James Kennedy, Jay Adams, John Armstrong, and Warren Wiersbe, who wrote the Foreword. A recent commendation was placed on the website of Asbury Seminary's Online Institute. The book is indexed and includes a bibliography of dissertations, pamphlets, journal articles and books on the subject listed by year, rather than alphabetically by author.

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