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Why Your Pastor Left Paperback – April 4, 2016
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Schmitz raises several good issues on the roles of pastors, and the causes for burnout. It's a worthwhile read for career ministers who need encouragement and fresh insights into our sometimes complex careers. However, I do have two criticisms- one with style, and the other with content.
First, I felt that Schmitz often rambled and belabored his points. Often he would make a fairly good insight, and then go on too long supporting that insight. A good editor was needed to sharpen this up.
Second, his point on giving young pastors, and young people a voice in the church is absolutely correct. But in defending that point the perception I got was that the church needs to find a way to get rid of older pastors. Perhaps this wasn't Schmitz's intention, but as an older pastor myself (55- right on the current average according to Schmitz's research) I was left feeling like my years of experience and wisdom have nothing to contribute. I absolutely value the voice of youth, and their insights and perspectives. But only having the voice of youth in the church is just as dangerous as only have the voice of the aged. No one plays golf with only a driver- nor do they try to play with only a putter. Both are needed. Fresh perspective and new innovation is just as needed as experience and wisdom. Why can't both be honored? I'm not quite ready for the Levitical retirement Schmitz points to- nor to be put on some pastoral ice floe.
Other than those points, a useful and thought provoking read.
If lay people knew what life is like for pastors in the church, perhaps they
would be more sensitive to the stresses and criticisms they make. A clergy
care team in the congregation would help the church worker and prevent
so many from leaving. I think the author answers the question to why
your pastor left.
But more than informative, Mr. Schmitz interlaces Biblical Biblical scholarship, hard-hitting statistics, and gut-wrenching anecdotes seamlessly to create a can't-put-it-down feeling.