Book: Clergy Tales--Tails - Wagging - Friendly but Exhausting by Stephen P. McCutchancategories: Book, Clergy Surviving Conflict, Pastor's Private Life, Priesthood of Believers, Healthy Clergy, Healthy Congregations, Clergy Burnout, Clergy Despair, Clergy Abuse, Pastors Make Mistakes, Sexuality and Spirituality, Clergy Life
Stephen P. McCutchanabout this book: Volume 2 of Clergy Tales--Tails is part of my campaign to "build respect for clergy one story at a time." While it is a mistake to place clergy on some pedestal removed from the normal issues of life, it is true that by their call, clergy have fixed their wagon to a different star.
Clergy stand in the breach between God and humanity. We, too, are imperfect, but we have been called by God. Like Moses in leading the Israelites out of Egypt, we find ourselves speaking to the people on behalf of God and also turning to beg for God's mercy on behalf of the people.
It is not easy to respond to an invisible God who frequently seems hard of hearing. It is even more frustrating to respond to a people who are more interested in complaining than in listening to God's directions. We often feel like neither audience is listening, but we are not free to abandon our call.
I write these tales because I believe that as people become aware of the life of clergy, subject to the normal temptations of humanity but shaped by their response to a voice from beyond time, they will appreciate some of the unique pressures that clergy face. As they become more familiar with the life of pastors, they will be able to respond in ways that are supportive and therefore nurturing of clergy health. The core of both these stories, and other suggestions on how to strengthen the health of clergy, is the thesis that Healthy Clergy Make Healthy Churches, and further that healthy congregations, whether you are a believer or not, contribute to a healthier society.
I invite you to join with me in this campaign and enjoy the stories of at least four volumes of Clergy Tales--Tails and a forthcoming mystery novel, A Star and a Tear. You can also consider specific ways to nurture clergy health from my website, http://www.smccutchan.com or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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