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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Creative Ministry Paperback – August 1, 1991

4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

According to Henri Nouwen, the bestselling spiritual writer, every Christian is a minister--trying to live his life in the light of the Gospel. "Creative Ministry is a thoughtful examination of the various complex tasks that are part of that way of life.Separate chapters treat each of the five areas that Nouwen considers the primary responsibilities of the minister: teaching, preaching, counseling, organizing, and celebrating. He shows how these main functions are inextricably tied to the minister's spiritual life and why they must be directed toward a creative dialogue with other Christians if they are to be rewarding. It is also essential, he maintains, that the minister leave himself open, take risks, and "lay down his life for his friends" in order to give new life."There is today a great hunger for a new spirituality," observes Nouwen, a hunger that requires new and creative forms of ministry. Citing numerous examples from his rich experience, the author offers practical advice for infusing daily pastoral work with meaning. The result is an insightful presentation and a resonant spiritual guide for every man and woman who wants to be of service.

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.
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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: 5.4 x 0.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book before attending seminary for a certificate in spirituality. It was not the first book I have read by this author but I believe it is a good place to start. Spirituality is usually covered in a single course in seminary but I think Henri Nouwen is correct in writing about the professional and personal together. We need both to conduct religious ministry. I did not see the point of seeing other Eastern traditions in a negative light however especially as our survival depends on living together in peace. I did like the authors insight that our ideas of what others need is misguided and should be rethought by all people in social service. His story of helping the family with clothes and beds for all their children was a great study in practical theology.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was my first time to read anything written by Henri Nouwen but this book was required reading for a class. Personally, this book did little to help me. His eclectic credence to a broad array of religion was more distracting to the truths he attempted to emphasize than helpful.
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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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Format: Paperback
The first book of his that I read. All the people I respect rave about him so I came with a decree of eepectation. I agree with most of his conclusions but am left with a feeling of 'if only the real world were like that' - doubtless, the ‘real’ world is but the daily world at the surface of our perceptions is not thus, the vulnerable pastor who shares doubts gets disliked for not giving a lead, the understanding pastor listening to tales of sexual immorality gets a reputation for being immoral himself &c.
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Format: Paperback
The first book of his that I read. All the people I respect rave about him so I came with a decree of eepectation. I agree with most of his conclusions but am left with a feeling of 'if only the real world were like that' - doubtless, the ‘real’ world is but the daily world at the surface of our perceptions is not thus, the vulnerable pastor who shares doubts gets disliked for not giving a lead, the understanding pastor listening to tales of sexual immorality gets a reputation for being immoral himself &c.
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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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