This blog will be a mess - for a while.
It's my attempt to squash ideas from fifty years of pastoring and thirty years of ministering to pastors into a Blog - and then maybe a book.
The book probably won't use the title I've chosen here, for two reasons - it's disrespectful, and it's probably copyrighted by the other mob...
Today (24/6/2011) I've started a sabbatical, and this project will occupy most of my intellectual, theological and prayerful attention over the next seven months.
Pastoring is easier and harder than it's ever been. Easier? Yes, I'd have loved a World Wide Web and a computer when I was preparing three sermons/talks most weeks back in my first pastorate (1960s - Narwee Baptist Church in Sydney) - and at the same time studying in a seminary full-time (supposedly).
(I just googled 'pastor dummies' and got only one response! It was a comment about President Obama's 'pastor dummies'... Oh well, good try).
Harder? Yes. People's expectations of their pastoral leaders are higher than ever before, and more often bluntly expressed. It's not 'liturgies as usual' in the so-called Free Churches, and where 'liturgical fidgeting' is proscribed, people say they don't get much inspiration from the preaching...
So it's a tough calling: burnout rates are high; most churches (in Western countries) are declining numerically; and Christianity is getting a bad press from militant atheists, and critics of our interferences in public discourse on this and that...
Anyway, this Blog has the raw material, which will be updated and compressed into articles on another Blog, tentatively titled
== THE ABC's OF EFFECTIVE PASTORAL LEADERSHIP ==
... with the following headlines (any others?):
HEALTH: MENTAL, PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL, SPIRITUAL