Summary And Analysis Of Pastor: The Theology And Practice Of Ordained Ministry

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Shepherding God’s People
Book Summary
28 December, 2016
Lori Tharp

A Summary and Analysis of
Pastor: The Theology and Practice of Ordained Ministry
By William H. Willimon

In the book, Pastor, A Theology and Practice of Ordained Ministry, Willimon sets the stage in his introduction for those of us who begin to read it. He tells us that this book is the fruit of many years of ministry experience, and it is an attempt to answer the questions of H. Richard Niebuhr about pastoral ministry. Basing his mindset on The Acts of the Apostles, Willimon reflects on specific topics within pastoral ministry. This book provides great wisdom, practical knowledge, truth, encouragement and inspiration for the difficult task we have before us as ministers,
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For instance, Willimon discusses pastoral care and the importance of visiting people in their own setting. He says, “There is no substitute for the pastor who counsels to also be the one who visits, who knows parishioners in the actual setting of their lives” (Willimon 104). He also says, “One great difference between a pastor and other givers of care in our society is that a pastor can take the initiative to intrude into the troubled lives of his or her people. It is part of a pastor’s role not simply to wait until hurting people reach out for help, but also to seek out and save the lost” (Willimon 104). This is an excellent point about pastoral care. As pastors we are to insert ourselves into the lives of people for offering guidance, love, accountability, encouragement, prayer, and helping them grow in Christlikeness. Likewise, Maddix speaks of pastoral care in a similar way saying that “Careful pastors also know that just showing up is not all that is needed when we intersect the daily lives of people” (Willimon 70). He says that parishioners want to pray and often need help to pray. Also one my favorite things he says is, “Prayer is our first work and it is a great gift to offer prayer as a pastor alongside the people whom you love and serve” (Willimon 70). My experience with this is so true. Praying with people …show more content…
Even as children’s pastor, I could relate to many elements in this book. I especially liked how Willimon speaks about the pastor as the one who shapes his congregation by the messages he preaches. I can identify with this because this is what I am currently doing when I speak to the children at Grace. Children are at an age where they more easily shaped and influenced by what they see and hear and this makes me see the urgency in what I’m doing all the

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