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While pastoral ministry certainly carries rewards and pleasure, it is not without challenges. Churches are filled with broken, imperfect people, often yielding a turbulent environment for pastors and members alike. Many ministers of the gospel walk into a church naive regarding the potential hazards of their vocation. They are vulnerable to difficult people, unresolved conflict, incompatible visions, hidden agendas, mission drift, and sin--their own and that of others. Other pastors feel trapped in a ministry hurricane and don't know what to do. They feel like failures and consider leaving the ministry. They are looking for help and hope--not from an "expert" detached from the real world of ministry--but from someone who has suffered through church hurricanes and lived to share the story. Moreover, they need to know they are not alone.
In Surviving Ministry: How to Weather the Storms of Church Leadership, Pastor Michael E. Osborne offers his own story as well as many other true stories from other pastors who have been in the eye of the hurricane. With honesty, humor and humility, Osborne offers discouraged ministers, seminarians, congregational leaders, and laity encouragement and biblical, practical, gospel-centered advice for storm proofing their churches, homes, and hearts. Surviving Ministry will equip them to stay resilient before, during, and after seasons of difficulty.
Number of Pages: 168
Vendor: Wipf & Stock
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 X 0.34 (inches)|
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Author: Michael Osborne
Located in: Orlando, Florida
Submitted: June 06, 2016
Tell us a little about yourself. I have been a pastor since 1986, serving Presbyterian (PCA) churches in Missouri, South Carolina, and Florida. I'm an avid racquetball player, cyclist, guitar player, and fan of classic rock and historical fiction. My wife and I have been married since 1976. We have four children and eleven grandchildren. I maintain a website for church leaders called Surviving Ministry, as well as a blog called The Greener Grass.
What was your motivation behind this project? After being a pastor for twelve relatively tranquil years, I accepted a call that turned out to be extremely challenging. I was not a good fit for the culture of either the church or the community. Moreover, I was unprepared for the trials I would face. The church had been badly hurt by its previous pastors. During my time there we went through crisis after crisis. Some of them were my fault; others were not. After five years I was done. I thought my days as a pastor might be over. But by Gods grace, I found a position in another church and recovered my zest for ministry. This book is a record of lessons I learned during and since those five hurricane years.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? Even the best pastors and healthiest churches can go through storms of adversity. This book will help pastors and other ministry leaders look for the signs of an impending church storm, limit its damage, learn its lessons, and live with gospel optimism for the future. In addition, it will give them a layer of protection from ministry fatigue and failure so they may move forward in their calling with hope.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? Writing this book was therapeutic. It helped me better understand my own story and how it shapes the way I do ministry both positively and negatively. I connected with many other pastors who shared their experiences with me. I came to a clearer understanding of factors that lead to organizational conflict and how to recover from it.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? Over the years I've been impacted by the writings and lives of several figures in church history, particularly Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, George Whitefield, John Murray, etc.; and more recently by J. I. Packer, R. C. Sproul, John Piper, Tim Keller, and many others.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: Failure can be not only the means of identifying heart idols but of finding a new, more gospel-centered way to live and minister to others.