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Creative Ministry Paperback – August 1, 1991


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Image Books by Doubleday and Company; Rep Sub edition (August 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385126166
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385126168
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Henri J. M. Nouwen (1932–1996) was a Catholic priest who taught at several theological institutions and universities in his home country of the Netherlands and in the United States. He spent the final years of his life teaching and ministering to the mentally and physically disabled at the L’Arche Daybreak Community in Toronto, Canada. His writings have touched millions of readers around the world, and since his death, recognition of their enduring value has continued to grow.

More About the Author

Henri Nouwen was born in Holland in 1932 and ordained a Catholic priest in 1957. He obtained his doctorandus in psychology from Nijmegen University in The Netherlands and taught at Notre Dame, Yale, and Harvard. He experienced the monastic life with Trappist monks at the Abbey of the Genesee, lived among the poor in Latin America with the Maryknoll missioners, and was interested and active in numerous causes related to social justice. After a lifetime of seeking, Henri Nouwen finally found his home in Canada, as pastor of L'Arche Daybreak - where people with intellectual disabilities and their caregivers live together in community.

Henri Nouwen wrote over 40 books on spirituality and the spiritual life that have sold millions of copies and been translated into dozens of languages. His vision of spirituality was broad and inclusive, and his compassion embraced all of humankind.

He died in 1996. His work and his spirit live on.

Henri Nouwen pronounced his name "Henry Now-en." For more information on his life and work, please visit www.henrinouwen.org .

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Few writers touch my very soul as does Mr. Nouwen.
Al Rickert
When I picked this book up a few months ago, I was particularly down and desperately wanted relief.
puritanfan
Excellent book, very helpful in its insights into ministry.
Emily Payne

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By puritanfan on May 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
I frequently suffer from bouts of depression. One cause is that I have a great burden to minister to believers but a crippling sense of inadequacy over my own abilities, particularly my speaking and social skills. Moreover, I have suffered from debilitating doubts about the adequacy of ministry itself as the roles of psychiatrists, counselors, and other professionals increasingly seem to make the clergy less and less relevant. Henri Nouwen's Creative Ministry (Image, 1971) explains why ministry is relevant and how one's feelings of inadequacy may be a necessary part of ministry.

When I picked this book up a few months ago, I was particularly down and desperately wanted relief. I was in no mood to read anything theoretical or clichéd. What recommended this book, besides its brevity, was its first page.

The author begins by sharing a difficult personal experience of his in counseling a young woman dying of Hodgkins disease. If you know anything about Nouwen, this comes as no surprise. Nouwen's philosophy of ministry is represented by the title of one of his books, The Wounded Healer. He believes that a person best ministers to others by making available his own painful experiences. Through showing one's vulnerability, rather than presenting oneself as a spiritual superman, a person can be a more effective witness of the transforming power of the gospel. He can testify to others not merely as to what God did 2,000 years ago but to what God is doing still, for example, in his life. This principle is evident throughout Creative Ministry.

If the first page of this book pulled me in, I hope the following quote from the last page will pull readers who are not ordained ministers in to read this important book.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Adam Davis on July 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
In "Creative Ministry" by Henri Nouwen, pages are filled with unsettling information that both, would be ministers and those directing their energy toward a life of service, must read. He separates a ministry into five aspects: teaching, preaching, pastoral care, organizing, and celebrating. Although Nouwen concentrates on a life of dialogue and care that will naturally overflow into surrounding relationships and situations, he does not neglect the prevading questions and doubts that haunt those preparing to serve. His words are directed toward the one, who will serve the many, and does not allow that one to make a moral, spiritual, or social distinction between him or herself and those to whom he or she ministers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin C on November 29, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I started this book, I found this book geared more toward ministers or spiritual directors than to the average lay person. Fr. Nouwen discussed in great detail the areas he feels key in our spiritual development and forming our spiritual views. The topics discussed are teaching, preaching, counseling, organizing and celebrating. As I read it began to unfold that we are called Christians and therefore called to ministry through our baptism and reinforced at confirmation. At that point I realized this book was speaking directly to me.

Fr. Nouwen stresses that real learning comes through a collaborative exchange of ideas where both the teacher and student teach one another. We must be open and willing to take risks and to lay down one's life for his friends in order to give new life.

A few highlighted passages:

People of hope do not worry about the results of their work, because they believe that God will fulfill all promises and that it is only a temptation to want to know exactly how this will happen. pg. 86

Our task is not a heavy burden or brave sacrifice but an opportunity to see more and more of the face of Him whom we meet. pg. 89

Ministers and priests are challenged to offer the way; to be like an artist who lays his work before the community in the hope that through it, as through a window, the reality he has fathomed can be witnessed by all who give attention. pg. 109
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Graham Vawser on June 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
Nouwen brings to this book his breadth of understanding of both the Christian way and the Christian ministry. In 5 chapters he covers the functions of ministry: Teaching; Preaching; Pastoral Care; Organization; and Celebration. The book is easy to read, while at the same time prompting serious reflection on the tasks of ministry.
Nouwen suggests (in respect of each function) a number of ways in which that task of ministry is perceived and executed. He reflects on certain 'secular' perspectives of the function, and then offers an alternative perspective which relates to the way in which God involvment is highlighted. (So in respect of pastoral care, Nouwen suggests that the concept of 'contract' between the pastor and the person is inadequate and offers the concept of 'covenant' as an alternative which reflect better God's commitment to both person and pastor.)
This offering of alternative perspectives which Nouwen gives to each aspect of the work of ministry is helpful in clarifying just what it is we are doing when we respond to God's call to share the work of Christ.
The book is an important addition to the library of any person (lay or ordained) who is conscientious about their work in minstry.
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