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After forty years as a Presbyterian pastor, Douglas Brouwer wondered if he had spent his life, as the author of Ecclesiastes laments, "chasing after wind." What did all the hard work on evenings and weekends and holidays, away from his family, amount to? What was there to make of the long string of petty conflicts and the overwhelming feeling of disillusionment? And in the current age of shrinking mainline churches, what could he point to as the end result of his decades in ministry?
Chasing after Wind will resonate with pastors everywhere who went into ministry to do lifechanging work for God and ended up spending most of their time managing the parking situation outside the church, fielding parishioner complaints about the color of the sanctuary carpet (or, in Brouwer’s case, the color of his shoes), and endlessly fundraising for mission projects and building maintenance. In telling his story, Brouwer comes to recognize that the most meaningful parts of his career—the "holy bits," as he calls them—were in unexpected moments where everything was stripped away but the mysterious work of God. Recounting these times of curious joy and shared mourning, he demonstrates how a pastor can find grace and peace in looking back on a life in ministry.
|Title: Chasing after Wind: A Pastor's Life|
By: Douglas J. Brouwer
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Publication Date: 2022
|Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.5 (inches)|
Weight: 10 ounces
Stock No: WW881878
author of Accidental Preacher
"Douglas Brouwer is a fine writer and a compelling storyteller who, with disarming honesty, provides an intimate look at the unique life of a pastor. At the same time, with a light touch and winsome self-deprecation, he invites us into his own one and only life. He falls in love with the church, then falls out of love, and finally falls back in love, this time with no illusions, grateful for holy bits and moments of grace. Chasing after Wind is a deeply satisfying read and I recommend it highly."
John M. Buchanan
former editor and publisher of The Christian Century
"In these pages, we encounter a thing far too rarea pastor skilled in stringing together artful sentences, writing as a genuine human rather than a religious delegate clinching the script. If we had more stories like this, those of us who wear the stole would have a little more fear and trembling, and more wonder and laughter too."
author of Love Big, Be Well
"Douglas Brouwers memoir is an intelligent, candid, and absorbing account of a deeply felt ministry. He tells the truth about ministry in all its pain and joy. Absolutely compelling!"
author of Morning and Evening Prayers
"An absorbing account of the quibbles, foibles, hassles, and hangups of a life in ministrywhich weave in and through all the joys, surprises, marvels, and vistas of a Spirit-led life. The Christian life is full of surprises, and this memoir invites us to see in each one an opportunity to walk in step with the Spirit."
John D. Witvliet
director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship
"Douglas Brouwers memoir on pastoral work is a gem and a treasure that will be known as such for a long time to come. Eugene Peterson lamented in Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity, Pastors are abandoning their posts, left and right, and at an alarming rate. . . . The pastors of America have metamorphosed into a company of shopkeepers. He certainly wasnt thinking of Douglas Brouwer when he wrote that. I have known Doug for a very long time, and he is the real deal. His memoir is pure gift!"
Timothy L. Brown
professor of preaching and president emeritus at Western Theological Seminary
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