Resilience In Ministry Book Review

Length: 7 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Mythology - Religion Type: Book Review Paper: #56766785 Related Topics: Overcoming Obstacles, Active Listening, Sermon, Pastoral Care
Excerpt from Book Review :

¶ … Resilient Ministry: What Pastors Told Us about Surviving and Thriving. The book enables discussion on an important topic of resilience; how people remain resilient through difficult times by using faith and God to help them. Paul and his apostles, among other experiences in the Bible enable further understanding of what it takes to remain strong even under heavy forces. Whether one faces hardship, oppression, or any other negative influence, God and faith in one's self will drive away the darkness within one's heart.

Chapter 3-6 and 13 and 14 will be summarized along with three journal entries. These are meant to allow for personal reflection along with summary of material. At times people only learn when they can reflect upon what they have absorbed. Through the journal entries, a second layer of interpretation may allow for growth and understanding.

Introduction

Ministry can be a difficult task to get right. People have to learn and reflect on what they learned in order to give the right message to the people they preach to. Throughout history, many people have preached about the word of God. Paul was one of those people that changed many people's ideas of faith and religion and enabled a stage of growth and spirituality for years to come.

What makes a great ministry? What enables people to learn and grow under the word of God? This is something that Resilient Ministry: What Pastors Told Us about Surviving and Thriving hopes to instill in its readers. The tools and understanding that will propel someone wishing to spread the word of God to know how to reach people and how to grow themselves. Just as Paul underwent many obstacles in his attempt to build a church and teach people of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice, so will others face obstacles towards their goal of faith and God.

With these obstacles can come either great defeat or great learning and resiliency is key to learning, to growing. This book shows how one, through continual progress, continual reflection, can overcome obstacles and shoe the word how to face pain, to face adversity all under the word of God. Because it is God that shows people the way. It is faith in the Divine that illuminates minds towards salvation. The hope that exists in everyone comes from the process of going when one cannot go any longer, and of understanding what it takes to break through.

The world is a harsh and cruel place at times. However, that does not mean that one should give up. That does not mean that one should not spread the word of God and His glory. It just means one has to try that much harder.

Chapter 3 and 4 Summary

People often times use the Bible in order to develop the spirit, or spiritual awareness, spiritual formation. Chapters 3 and 4 cover evaluating and pursuing spiritual formation. They use in chapter three, the apostle Paul and phrases from Philippians 2:212 as well as 3:14. They also use Ephesians 4:15 and Romans 12:2. This is to demonstrate through the word of God that people can indeed transform their spiritual awareness not by conforming to the ideas of society, but by looking within to find the answers. The word of God can act as a guideline and the process of reflection as a means of clarity.

The beginning of the chapters asks the Christian to evaluate one's current spirituality. This is because it is a continual process that requires continual reflection and assessment. "Instead the Bible calls us to "work out" out salvation, "press on towards the goal," "be transformed by the renewal" (Burns, Chapman & Guthrie, 2013, p.30). Just as physical maturation occurs in stages, spiritual maturation is the same. People spiritually are at first like infants, not aware of all that God is and the world around them. Then as they progress, they gain the knowledge of Scriptures and understand how the world revolves around structure but also how the internal world of a person revolves around faith. This is where Chapter 4 continues.

People frequently are put into positions of "

...

Meaning, people may possess great knowledge, but not the spiritual heart to express that knowledge and appropriately guide people. The book uses an example of seminary professors and their unkind and cold demeanor. Simply because one has things like wealth or knowledge, it does not mean they are spiritually sound. This is taken into further interpretation when the chapter discusses Pastors and their constant reflection on their sermons.

Journal #1

"I've seen patterns of anxiety and faithlessness through my reflection time. I've realized that my sleeplessness is anxiety. My devotional life is bad because I have to take life by the horns. All of this reveals my lack of belief. I believe God is holding out on me" (Burns, Chapman & Guthrie, 2013, p.33).

The quote above was a bit hard for me to take in. I have struggled with anxiety all throughout my life. I think many people have. Fear, expectations, they can be crippling. They sometimes make me feel as though I have no energy and faith in myself.

The worst part for me is feeling as though God is not there. I sometimes feel like I am all alone. Although I know God is there and I have the strength to continue, sometimes I feel like I have no strength at all. All of those feelings make me feel angry; make me want to give up. That is where I truly decide whether to keep believing.

It is in my hardest of times that my faith renews. I will not lie. It is a cyclical process and I at times keep going through the same motions even when I know better. However, each time I fall, I lose faith, I get right back up, and my faith is that much stronger. It is in these times that people grow, that I grow.

People cannot have growth without the turbulent times, the times of difficulty. When life feels at its hardest, that is when faith renews and strengthens. Whenever I want to scream at God for my misery, I look back and think of all God has given me and I am thankful again. I am happy again. I feel renewed again. This is why it is so important to examine and reflect.

Chapters 5 and 6

Chapter 5, Burning On, Not Burning Out: Self-Care I discusses the effect of over exerting one's self when doing something. Work, school, preaching, although these are things that bring people great joy and satisfaction, especially when spreading the word of God if that is one's passion, it may become too much to handle. People often stretch themselves too think when they seek to spread the word of God. Whether it is talking to numerous people or helping people, a person may reach a moment of exhaustion if that person does not take care of himself or herself.

A quote (will be elaborated on in the journal) that discusses the need for ministry leaders to take care of themselves strikes a nerve. If a ministry leader does not get enough sleep, does not eat right, how will that person carry on the important task of fulfilling his or her duties to the church, to the people of the church? It goes right into chapter 6, concerning pacing one's lifestyle and continues into Self-Care II. Just like when it comes to a doctor's visit, people must take care of themselves to avoid getting sick and being unhealthy.

When someone is unhealthy, that sickness transfers into his or her daily activities. Malnutrition for example, may create depression, fatigue, and lethargy, which will decrease the amount of time a person, may devote to their responsibilities. For example, if a pastor is obese and has trouble getting enough sleep at night, that pastor will feel fatigued throughout the day and delivering a sermon. Being obese can also lead to chronic illness and if a person is chronically ill, they cannot fulfill much if any of their duties leading to problems and further decay. People, under any circumstance, must take care of themselves in order to deliver the word of God and live a fulfilling and happy life.

Journal Entry # 2

"Ministry leaders need to consider self-care as, in Peter Brain's words, "a way of ensuring that we will remain effective in the great work God has given us to do" (Burns, Chapman & Guthrie, 2013, p.63).

I remember a time in my life when I did not take care of myself. I was somewhat overweight and I was depressed. I was eating junk food, not feeding my body the food it needs to thrive. In doing so, I felt lazy and much of my responsibilities slipped. I was no longer as social as before. I craved being alone and most importantly I stopped doing…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Burns, B., Chapman, T., & Guthrie, D. (2013). Resilient ministry. IVP Books.


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