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The Work of the Associate Pastor (Work of the Church) Paperback – September 15, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alan R. Rudnick, MDiv, is an American Baptist pastor, author, blogger, and social media practitioner. He is senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Ballston Spa, New York, and previously served in pastoral staff ministry for more than 10 years. In 2010-2011, Rudnick was a Fellow with the Lewis Center for Church Leadership housed at Wesley Theological Seminary.
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Product Details

  • Series: Work of the Church
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Judson Pr (September 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817017097
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817017095
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,854,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By JMF on October 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not even done with this book, and I must say it's nothing short of excellent. The book is general enough to address anyone in an associate role, yet the principles are timeless. You can't read this book in one sitting, speed-read, etc. - you'll miss too many fine points and the entire point of the book. While I disagree with some of Rudnick's denominational associations, I really do wish they had a book like this when I was back at Bible college!
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Format: Paperback
A clergy friend once said to me, “the first three letters in the title of associate pastor should be emphasized the most.” “Why is that?” I asked. “Because that is what you will spend most of your time kissing as an associate pastor.” While this is a particularly jaded perspective on the role of the associate pastor, it is not too far-fetched from the experience of many who serve in this position. Unbeknownst to many in the church, the role of associate pastor contains its fair share of pitfalls.

In The Work of the Associate Pastor, Alan Rudnick attempts to raise awareness about the challenges that associate pastors face in congregational life. Rudnick shares the wisdom he gained after serving for a decade as an associate pastor; he knows intimately the rewards and risks of the role. This book reads like a manual, full of practical and tested instruction that would be helpful to clergy and lay church leaders alike. Any congregation that already has an associate pastor or is considering the addition of an associate pastor to their staff would benefit greatly by using this book as a resource.

The Work of the Associate Pastor aims to refocus the church on the importance of this specialized ministry by offering a deeper understanding of how congregations can nurture and improve their relationship with an associate pastor. Rudnick makes the case that the future vitality of the church is intertwined with the effort it makes to care for associate pastors. At first, this may sound like an overstatement, but the author reminds the reader that it is often the associate pastor who gives detailed attention to the various ministries of the church, allowing them to flourish.
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Format: Paperback
As I think back upon the 96 hours I amassed for my M.Div., I do not recall one time we discussed the calling "Associate Pastor." Sure, many of us, in the back of our minds, thought that, in all likelihood, we would find ourselves in an associate position eventually. Though conversations occasionally popped up, there was not a concerted effort to examine, explore, and extrapolate theological learning in the context of an associate.

And the blame is not to be placed upon any divinity school for not doing so.

Alan Rudnick in The Work of the Associate Pastor reminds me that this aspect of ministry and church life does not receive the same care and attention other positions receive. To be sure, all of us, educators, churches, and clergy, do not necessarily give Associate positions the attention they deserve. Rudnick helps start the conversation for both clergy and congregations, inviting them to imagine the potential an Associate can provide. With Rudnick we can see the Associate beyond the next rung on the corporate clergy ladder, to a fulfilling, life-long vocation.

If someone, especially young clergy, find themselves seeking an associate position they should read The Work of the Associate Pastor--but so should churches seeking associate positions. Rudnick helps both churches and clergy gain a better grasp of what the other should seek. Whether the handy questionares and charts, or the graphs of triangulation, this concise, though insightful, book helps all gain a better understanding of where we might find ourselves throughout discernment.

As I read Rudnick (disclaimer: I know him personally), I do wonder where reclaiming the work of the Associate will take the church.
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Format: Kindle Edition
These principles do not work for those with A type personalities. In the real church, senior pastors can be brutal to talented associates with leadership abilities.

I know full well, having been abused in two churches; first, by a senior pastor who resented my effective leadership of the church's pre-school, second, by a senior pastor who resented my effectively researching a theological question. I was fired from the first position and forced out of the second. In the first, in Newtown PA, the pastor pursed vengeance by causing a mortgage to be denied that would have taken us out of a rental on the church property; then, he hired and attorney to evict us without a housing alternative. In the second, in Hastings NE, the pastor harassed me until I resigned; then, he slandered me to every church where I sought another position until I was unable to serve as in any position other than a volunteer solo missionary.

This last ministry, in Frederick MD, was the most satisfying of my life because I was able to serve Jesus Christ with all of the gifts of leadership and teaching which He bestowed upon me. I was facilitated by the Godly leaders of my missions agency instead of hampered by the jealousy and spitefulness of insecure, petty senior pastors.
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