Bob Burns, Tasha Chapman, and Donald Guthrie
InterVarsity Press, 2013, 313 pp., $17

No one enters the ministry merely to survive. Everyone wants to thrive in his or her calling, yet burnout is rampant in all areas of ministry. Based on extensive interview research with pastors through the course of several years Burns, Chapman and Guthrie deliver invaluable insights into the common characteristics of resilient pastors.

Five themes of resilient ministry emerged from the research including: spiritual formation, self-care, emotional and cultural intelligence, marriage and family, and leadership and management. Each of these themes, while unique, is dependent on one another, and the authors approach them as multiple strands of a tapestry woven together.

The wisdom gleaned from the pastors in this research is invaluable as clarity is brought to bear on what works and what doesn’t work in the trenches of ministry. While these themes may be important to everyone, there is a unique nature to how they are reflected in the lives of pastors and their families.

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Bob Burns, Tasha Chapman and Donald Guthrie
IVP, 2013, 313 pp., $12.53,

Teamwork can be defined as “a group of people working together to secure a common goal.” High functioning teams tend to win; low functioning teams tend to lose. Resilient Ministry has three authors; this is teamwork at its best.

The book is the result of seven years of compiling information from pastors who are in ministry full-time. The five themes in the book are:
1. Spiritual Formation
2. Self-Care
3. Emotional and Cultural Intelligence
4. Marriage and Family
5. Leadership and Family

Peter Scazzero is quoted from his book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. There are case studies (maybe too many) and discussion questions at the end of each chapter. The majority of Scripture references are from the New Testament.

Those who participated in the survey are from a variety of denominations. All face similar issues, and it seems relationships are their biggest blessing and biggest challenge.

Often pastors do what they do out of the goodness of their hearts. Maybe when people recognize that and do the same, the result will be healthier church families (and fewer pastors leaving the ministry). Burns, Chapman and Guthrie comprise a high-functioning analytical team. Resilient Ministry is the fruit of their labor.

The Alban Institute is an organization that offers consulting services to congregations and clergy.

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