Holy Friendships: Nurturing Relationships That Sustain Pastors and Leaders
Stock No: WW482370
Holy Friendships: Nurturing Relationships That Sustain Pastors and Leaders  -     By: Victoria Atkinson White & L.Gregory Jones

Holy Friendships: Nurturing Relationships That Sustain Pastors and Leaders

Fortress Press / 2023 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW482370

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Pastors and Christian institutional leaders serve more creatively, effectively, and joyfully when they feel supported and part of an intimate community of colleagues and friends who care about their personal and professional wellbeing. So attests Victoria Atkinson White in Holy Friendships: Nurturing Relationships That Sustain Pastors and Leaders.

And yet, she observes, many leaders sacrifice critical relationships, citing lack of time or competing priorities, and end up isolated, lonely, and burned out. Social media compounds this problem by distorting the meaning of "friend" and reducing it to a relationship in search of clicks, likes, and emoji-ed responses.

While we might have lots of "friends," holy friendships are mutual and sacred relationships deeply rooted in God's love. What Christian leaders need is a circle of holy friends to walk alongside them in the challenging and constantly changing work of ministry.

White gives readers permission to invest in their own resilience, sustainability, and flourishing by cultivating and nurturing their own holy friendships. By recounting the stories of meaningful holy friendships and revealing the benefits of challenging conversations over time, she offers hope, grace, and humor. She also provides examples of how holy friendships can change institutions and systems, helping pastoral leaders cultivate beloved community.

Product Information

Title: Holy Friendships: Nurturing Relationships That Sustain Pastors and Leaders
By: Victoria Atkinson White & L.Gregory Jones
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 190
Vendor: Fortress Press
Publication Date: 2023
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
Weight: 8 ounces
ISBN: 1506482376
ISBN-13: 9781506482378
Stock No: WW482370

Author Bio

Victoria Atkinson White is a managing director at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity in Durham, North Carolina where she resources and supports Christian institutions and their leaders. She coaches and writes on a variety of topics, including design thinking, strategy, sustainability, Christian social innovation, and holy friendships. She is an ordained minister in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

Editorial Reviews

"Every Christian called to leadership should read this book. In Holy Friendships, the Rev. Dr. Victoria Atkinson White invites our attention to an underexplored aspect of the walk of faith: namely, that it's more than relationship with God and relationship with a community. The intimate, tender, and sacred connections with Dear Ones who walk alongside us are vital for discipleship and leadership discernment. Her work convicted me as a leader walking too many days alone. Her words also joyfully prompted me to call close friends, express the value of our relationship, and spend time 'holding their basket' when necessary." --Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, president and CEO, Children's Defense Fund and CDF Action Council, and board chair for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy and the Forum for Theological Exploration

"Victoria's heart shines through in Holy Friendships--her genuine love for pastors and leaders and her desire for their flourishing. In an age when relationships have become increasingly diluted and dispersed in many ways, she shines a light on a different possibility of friendship rooted in pragmatic simplicity. Hence, her definition, 'Holy friendships are mutual and sacred relationships deeply formed in God's love,' shows us how essential it is for holy friendships to be intentionally cultivated and engaged by individuals. She gives us tools for how to think about them. So, I'm grateful for the meaningful work she has done in these conversations and how it opens space for us to consider the serious importance of friendships, not only for our flourishment but for our very survival." --Mihee Kim-Kort, pastor and author of Outside the Lines: How Embracing Queerness Will Transform Your Faith

"The cost of critique is a better alternative than the status quo, and Victoria Atkinson White offers precisely that wisdom in this moving and inspiring book. Burnout culture among faith leaders cannot be solved by the latest productivity hack or a weeklong retreat from reality. Our path forward must begin with our most authentic connections--to self, community, and God. White offers a lifeline for all of us struggling to find balance in an increasingly off-kilter world, and she does so with grace and humor. The holy friendships she features, including several of her own, will leave you feeling inspired to go deeper with some of your own friends and see those relationships as a core part of your leadership life, not something to tend to once your 'real' work is done." --Rabbi Elan Babchuck, founder of Glean Network and executive vice president, National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership

"Writing with passionate advocacy, Victoria Atkinson White charts a pathway that will guide pastoral leaders toward flourishing in their vocations. Without holy friendships that call for accountability, provide support, and validate identity, none of us could continue faithfully in our callings. Life is too difficult to do it alone, White wisely perceives. She names the role that holy friends can play not only in the rough patches but in making all of life more satisfying. It is an ancient practice given new form through White's careful research and personal experience. Reading her winsome book helped me name my holy friends and seek to be a better one." --Rev. Dr. Molly T. Marshall, president, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities

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