Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Pastor: The Theology and Practice of Ordained Ministry Paperback – January 1, 2002
There is a newer edition of this item:
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From the Back Cover
A comprehensive guide to the joys and challenges of pastoral ministry by one of today's foremost preachers. "For anyone who is working out 'with fear and trembling' what it means to be in ministry, this book is a gift. Will Willimon's book is solid theology with a profound understanding of Scripture for this ministerial calling." --Tony Campolo, Eastern College "Pastors are a battered breed these days. Images and impressions range from cheap to glittering to dogged. Will Willimon will have none of it; he counters with an enormous infusion of dignity, but it is dignity without a trace of pomposity. By articulating our baptismal, biblical, and theological foundations, he trumps a demeaning culture and a trivializing church, and restores honor to our vocations." --Eugene H. Peterson, Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College. "There is great confusion these days about the role and function of a Protestant pastor. Writing out of his deep knowledge of Scripture and church history, and out of his long experience in the pastorate, Willimon furnishes some clear and compelling answers. I would recommend that every pastor and seminarian read, study, and reflect on this book." Elizabeth Achtemeier, Union Theological Seminary in Virginia "Pastor is the crowning achievement of Willimon's years of experience and research. It covers everything, from one's calling to ministry to every facet of personal and pastoral work with thoroughness and evangelical passion. Anyone who follows this theologically grounded, deeply practical guide will experience a rebirth of their calling and evolution of their ministry." Robert Webber, Northern Seminary
About the Author
Feeling most at home behind a pulpit, Will Willimon’s deepest calling is to be a preacher and truth-teller of Jesus Christ. He is Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry at Duke University Divinity School and retired Bishop of the North Alabama Conference of The United Methodist Church, after serving for 20 years as faculty member and Dean of the Chapel at Duke University. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.
Will Willimon has published many books, including his preaching subscription service on MinistryMatters.com, Pulpit Resource, and Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love, both published by Abingdon Press.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
To be sure, with such depth and exhaustive content, I didn't agree with everything that Willimon mentioned. I thought his discussion about potentially contentious issues like homosexuality and the ordination of women was rather dismissive, almost implying that those conversations have been unanimously resolved. With his background entrenched in the Protestant mainline, I found his periodic references to the evangelical church to be somewhat caricaturish and overly simplistic. And that mainline background informs his bias towards more "high church" models of corporate worship, which made some of his instructions and examples about how pastors should lead a congregation in worship to be rather disconnected from my experiences in the evangelical, "low church" world.
But with these points of disconnect notwithstanding, I really appreciated Willimon's book. I feel freshly excited about entering the world of vocational, ordained ministry (without feeling like Willimon has offered anything other than a full-fledged commitment to the "priesthood of all believers"). I am reminded of the challenges that surely lie ahead in pastoral ministry. And I suspect that I'll refer back to this book at various points, as a helpful reference book to both theoretical and practical ("theology and practice") aspects of the pastorate. I'm happy to recommend the book to pastors, novice and experienced, for a solid grounding in what we do what we do and how we might do it most effectively for God's glory.
Critique: Although Willimon surprised me by quoting from several of the Reformers (Calvin and Luther) as well as even the Westminster Confession of faith, some of his more liberal United Methodism showed forth in his constant references and applications to female pastors. The Bishop went well out of his way to include female ministers and priests in most discussions, but did little to justify his view of gender and ordination. For this reason, Willimon might deserve some "push back" for not defending the controversial position of open ordination. This might be surprising, since he so clearly labors to connect modern pastoral work with that of the ancients and Reformers.
Application: Willimon opened my eyes to a broader understanding of baptism as a delineating mark upon the minister's role of leading the covenant people of God. Although he does not give a full-fledged theology of baptism as a sign and seal of faith (I'm not sure he would even use those terms), he did find occasion to draw baptism into almost every pastoral discussion on the love, labor, and responsibility of the ordained person to tend especially to those who have openly identified with Christ by the covenantal sign of water. I found his incessant references to baptism refreshing, and it reminded me to speak more often of baptism's ongoing significance for the Christian life.
Best Quote: "The church itself forms a culture that is counter to the world's ways of doing things. The church does not simply reach out to and speak to the dominant culture, it seeks to disrupt that culture by rescuing some from it, then to inculcate people into the new culture called the church" (p. 209).
-Matthew Everhard is the Senior Pastor of Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Brooksville, Florida