Book: Clergy Tales—Tails - Who Wags the Dog by Stephen P. McCutchan
categories: Book, Clergy Courage, Spiritual Journey, Ordinary Spiritual Life, Clergy Abuse, Abuse of Clergy, Clergy Depression, Clergy Burnout, Nurturing Clergy Health, Human Pastors, Clergy Temptations, God's Call, Resilient Pastors, Clergy
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Stephen P. McCutchan about this book: This book, and the volumes to follow, are part of my mission to raise the respect that people have for the clergy profession. I believe that Healthy Clergy Make Healthy Congregations and that regardless of your personal faith, when you have healthy congregations in your community, the whole community benefits. While I tend towards the more progressive end of the theological spectrum, I know pastors all along the theological continuum and have deep empathy for the challenge of any pastor seeking to be faithful to his or her calling.
Imagine being engaged in research for a sermon for the coming Sunday when you get a phone call from a terrified parent whose child has been in an accident. You rush to the family's side to offer comfort. There is no answer to the "why" they are asking but you offer presence. Back at the church you talk to the custodian about some complaints regarding the cleanliness of the church and respond to a phone call from a reporter wanting a response to a controversial issue that is affecting the community. No matter how you respond, someone in the church will not be pleased. You leave for lunch with a couple interested in joining the church. As you leave the restaurant, a member calls to tell you of a rumor that some members are upset by what they heard a speaker said at last Sunday's youth fellowship meeting. You have a budget meeting that evening and you know a very generous contributor has died affecting the financial stability of the church. At 5:30, as you leave the church for a quick bite before the budget meeting, you are stopped by a smiling couple who stopped to tell you that your wise counsel over the last several weeks has helped heal their marriage.
Not all pastors are faithful, and most have their share of human failings, but each has been touched by God in a way that has led them into ministry, and that has marked their lives. In this and succeeding volumes, I want to share fictional but true stories of the challenges they face. My hope is that as people are aware of the stresses of ministry, they will also seek ways to contribute to the health of the clergy.
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