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The Vulnerable Pastor

Paperback|Oct 2015
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$30.99

Often as pastors we feel like we need to project strength and competency in order to minister effectively. That's why we go to conferences and emulate the latest superstars. But we know we can never live up to those images....


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Often as pastors we feel like we need to project strength and competency in order to minister effectively. That's why we go to conferences and emulate the latest superstars. But we know we can never live up to those images. Deep down, we know our own limitations, our weaknesses, our faults. We fear that if people knew who we really are, we'd be disqualified from ministry. Not so. Mandy Smith unpacks the biblical paradox that God's strength is revealed through our human weakness. Transparently describing her pastoral journey, Smith shows how vulnerability shapes ministry, through our spiritual practices and relationships, influencing our preaching, teaching and even the nuts and bolts of the daily schedule. Understanding our human constraints makes our ministry more sustainable and guards us against disillusionment and burnout. We don't have to have it all together. Recognizing our weakness makes us rely on God, so our weakness can become a ministry resource. God has called you to lead not as a demigod, but as a human, so the world can see that the church is a place for humans like them.


"It's hard to be both painfully honest and faith filled at the same time, but Mandy Smith does it. And she shows us how shepherding souls requires honest faith and hope and love, even when some pain is involved." (Marshall Shelley, editor, Leadership Journal)

"No kidding: If I could make one new book magically appear on the bedside table of every minister, priest, deacon and elder in North America, The Vulnerable Pastor would be it. Mandy Smith's wise and hopeful book is timely, a much-needed antidote to the influence of macho leadership run amok, which has wrecked so many pastors and churches. It is also timeless, an important reminder that God's power is made perfect in weakness. If you are a pastor, please read this book; if you have a pastor, please read it with them." (John Pattison, coauthor of Slow Church)

"To those with the most impossible of 'jobs' - our pastors - comes a great gift: The Vulnerable Pastor. Here, with great care, Mandy Smith manages to reframe what it means to be a pastor and to infuse it with the life of the gospel. I truly tell you that The Vulnerable Pastor resonated with the core of my being. It not only made being a pastor possible again, it made being a pastor wonderful." (David Fitch, B. R. Lindner Chair of Evangelical Theology, Northern Seminary, author of Prodigal Christianity)

"While many pastors are convinced that limitations and messes in ministry are a curse, Mandy Smith shows us that it's in these spaces that God seems to do his most transformative work. Mandy finds the rare and beautiful balance of raw-yet-hopeful and humble-yet-confident vulnerability, while extending grace to the people who seem to need it most: pastors. In today's ministry culture, fraught with the perception of perfection, Mandy offers pastors refreshing permission to be human. But most refreshing of all, she doesn't just write about her message. She does what the most effective authors do�she lives it too." (J.R. Briggs, pastor, author of Fail and founder of Kairos Partnerships)

"'A vulnerable pastor' is often an oxymoron. Mandy Smith is not; she is an example of her own book. She asks the right questions and wrestles with the answers�her honesty is honest. Her voice is like a breath of fresh air in an airtight, stuffy room. This isn't a book just for pastors but for all of us who want to be 'real' with ourselves, others and God." (Ruth Graham, author of In Every Pew Sits a Broken Heart)

"The landscape is littered with pastors who feel inadequate. I count myself as one of them. According to Mandy Smith, we are on the brink of an infusion of power if we embrace our weaknesses and count them as a gift from God. In the process, we trust the one God to make up the difference between who we feel we are and what our ministry can become." (From the foreword by David Hansen, author of The Art of Pastoring)

Publisher Description

:Often pastors feel like we need to project strength and competency in order to minister effectively. That's why we go to conferences and emulate the latest superstars. But we know we can never live up to those images. Deep down, we know our own limitations, our weaknesses, our faults. We fear that if people knew who we really are, we'd be disqualified from ministry.Not so. Mandy Smith unpacks the biblical paradox that God's strength is revealed through our human weakness. Transparently describing her pastoral journey, Smith shows how vulnerability shapes ministry, through our spiritual practices and relationships, influencing our preaching, teaching and even the nuts and bolts of the daily schedule. Understanding our human constraints makes our ministry more sustainable and guards us against disillusionment and burnout.We don't have to have it all together. Recognizing our weakness makes us rely on God, so our weakness can become a ministry resource. God has called you to lead not as a demigod, but as a human, so the world can see that the church is a place for humans like them.

PRODUCT DETAIL

Mandy Smith

Originally from Australia, Mandy Smith is lead pastor of University Christian Church, a campus and neighborhood congregation with its own fair-trade cafe in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a regular contributor to Leadership Journal and PARSE and the author of Making a Mess and Meeting God. She is also the creator of The Collect, a citywide trash-to-art project. Mandy, her two children, and her husband Jamie, a New Testament professor at Cincinnati Christian University, live in a little house where the teapot is always warm.

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