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The issue of pastoral burnout is pressing and if anything, growing in our fast paced western technological society. In over twenty-five years of preparing men and women for ministry I have seen the toll that ministry takes on innumerable individuals. Men and women are encouraged to enter ministry as the highest spiritual calling, without warning them of the real and present dangers. The current perspective focuses on the blessing of ministry and turns a blind eye to the personal spiritual dangers it presents. As a practicing pastor for over two decades Eric C. Sorenson has taken up the challenge to address this vital issue. I greatly appreciated his careful and restrained tone, letting the evidence speak for itself as opposed to sermonizing or moralizing.
Grounding his work in a trio of the greatest patristic pastors who spoke powerfully to the danger and picking up the theme again beginning with the post-Reformation English pastors, he powerfully and convincingly demonstrates what the contemporary church has forgotten: pastoral ministry is dangerous to the spiritual health of the practitioner. In looking for remedies Sorenson shows that despite their differences ecclesiastically, politically and even to an extent geographically there is surprising agreement as to practical measures that may be employed to combat and heal the toll that ministry regularly takes.
A Most Dangerous Profession is a must read to anyone either in ministry or considering ministry, or for anyone concerned about the spiritual health of his or her pastor!
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