The authors says the clergy, regardless of their appointment (as parish clergy or judicatory executives, for example), should understand themselves primary as teachers of the Christian faith. They claim it is both wrong and disadvantageous to mainline churches when clergy...
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The authors says the clergy, regardless of their appointment (as parish clergy or judicatory executives, for example), should understand themselves primary as teachers of the Christian faith. They claim it is both wrong and disadvantageous to mainline churches when clergy act as administrators or psychotherapists or in any other way that is fundamentally different from acting as a teacher. The first half of the book shows the urgency of recovering the understanding of ministry and demonstrates that the church has always witnessed to the importance of teaching as an indispensable component of ministry and of the life of faith itself. The latter half of the book provides examples of how the primary role of teaching can be used in the church.
With concise and practical guidelines for recovering the identity of the church, Clark Williamson and Ronald Allen demonstrate that the central task of ministry is teaching the Christian faith. The authors believe that how well ministers understand what is required of them and how well they do what is required of them is part of the problem of churches today, as well as part of the solution.
Clark M. Williamson is Indiana Professor Emeritus of Christian Thought at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Ronald J. Allen (Ph.D. from Drew University) is Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Preaching and New Testament at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis. In addition to over 100 articles and chapters in books Allen is the author of almost thirty books.From 2000-2004, he directed one of the first studies of people who listen to sermons to determine the qualities in preaching that encourage people to pay attention to the sermon and qualities that discourage them from doing so. This project, funded by the Lilly Endowment, is generating four books. Listening to Listeners: Homiletic Case Studies (jointly authored with Dale P. Andrews, L. Susan Bond, John S. McClure, Dan P. Moseley, and G. Lee. Ramsey, Jr.) (2004), Hearing the Sermon: Relationship, Content, Feeling, Believing in Preaching: What Laity Think about Sermons(coauthored with Mary Alice Mulligan, Diane Turner-Sharazz and Dawn Ottoni Wilhelm) and, with Mary Alice Mulligan, Make the Word Come Alive: Lessons from Laity. Other recent books are Wholly Scripture: Preaching Themes from the Bible, along with Preaching is Believing: The Sermon as Theological Reflection , as well as Preaching: An Essential Guide.