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Preaching and Practical Ministry (Preaching and Its Partners) [Paperback]

By Ronald J. Allen (Author)
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Item Number 136130  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   149
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.53" Width: 5.52" Height: 0.46"
Weight:   0.47 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 3, 2001
Publisher   Chalice Press
ISBN  0827229720  
EAN  9780827229723  

Availability  0 units.

Preaching And Its Partners - Full Series Preview
Image Title Price Stock Qty Add To Cart
  Preaching and Theology (Preaching and Its Partners)   $ 18.69   In Stock  
  Preaching and Homiletical Theory (Preaching and Its Partners)   $ 18.69   In Stock  

Item Description...
This first book in the "Preaching and Its Partners" series looks at the task of preaching as part of the larger task of parish ministry. Allen explores the role of preaching as it relates to Christian education, pastoral care, administration, evangelism, and spirituality in the context of the congregation.

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More About Ronald J. Allen

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Ronald J. Allen is Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Preaching and New Testament at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. He is author of many books, including Patterns of Preaching and Interpreting the Gospel, and coauthor of One Gospel, Many Ears and Listening to Listeners, all from Chalice Press.

Ronald J. Allen currently resides in the state of Indiana. Ronald J. Allen was born in 1949.

Ronald J. Allen has published or released items in the following series...
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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Ministry   [4391  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Preaching   [1493  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Sermons   [1585  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
For preachers and others...  Feb 5, 2005
When one is asked, `what does a minister do?', among the first answers always given, is `preach!'. So closely is the minister, pastor, or priest identified with this role that `preacher' is often considered a closely-synonymous title for the same position. Preaching is an important piece, some would say the most important piece, in this job description - to say this, and to consider whether or not this is true, requires analysis on a systems basis. This is the kind of analysis that Ron Allen, prolific writer in the field of homiletics and professor of preaching and New Testament at my seminary, gives to the role and the task of preaching.

As Allen states at the beginning, systems thinking makes assumptions about groups and communal relationships on different levels. Allen's first chapter develops his ideas of systems, drawn both from his own experiences (what would a book by Ron Allen be without a story originating in the Ozarks?) and his extensive studies into the matter. Congregations are a special kind of social system, with a theological purpose and an origin in a call from God through the Holy Spirit. In most congregations, this same Spirit is considered to be continuing in presence and action, which makes systems analysis for congregations a somewhat different matter from straight sociological or business-paradigm analyses. There are formal, informal and tacit aspects of the congregational system, and each of these has an impact on how preaching functions in the community.

Allen then goes through a short list of some of the major roles that a preacher assumes (or is assumed to assume) in congregational systems - the preacher as teacher, as pastor, as administrator, as missionary, and as spiritual leader. Most people who have gone to church for any length of time come know ministers who are better and worse at the different functions, as rare is the individual woman or man who is equally gifted across all of these functions. A person may be a great preacher and administrator, but lack personal gifts for pastoring. More frequently, the gifted pastor and preacher will lack administrative abilities. Some of these titles are difficult to define.

The role of teacher does not mean the preacher should stand in a pulpit with a blackboard behind her. Allen traces the teaching office of the preacher through history in the experience of Israel and the early Christian church, who both thought of themselves broadly as communities of teaching and learning (an insight that comes from Allen's shared work with Clark Williamson). Allen discusses the frequent disconnect between formal and informal Christian education programmes and the preaching done in congregations; he also explores ways to help the education and catechetical aspects of the church coincide with what happens in the congregation.

With regard to pastoral care, Allen is in line with the thinking that the congregation itself can function as a system of pastoral care, getting away from the model of the one-on-one counseling idea. This kind of preaching relationship can help build the congregation as a spiritual community, which can function in both preventative and healing pastoral care ways. The preaching can work toward making people aware that pastoral care does not only come from the minister, but has authenticity from members of the congregation toward each other.

The preacher as administrator has many pitfalls that Allen identifies. Some preacher/ministers are people who feel (or minister to congregations that feel) the administrative role is one of leadership, and leadership comes (from biblical models and early church examples) from those set apart; only the preacher can lead. By building discipleship and servant leadership models into the educational aspect of preaching, the effective preacher can learn (and help teach the congregation) to share various aspects of leadership and administration, eliminating the perspective of the preacher as CEO of the congregation.

Allen also looks at preaching as a missionary activity - too many churches focus inward rather than outward, on maintenance of the institution rather than working mission in the world. Allen sees mission in three expressions: evangelism, social justice, and `all that Christians do'. Working with these ideas theologically and biblically, Allen calls for preachers to help model the idea of mission from the pulpit and help incorporate the ideas of mission as something in which the entire congregation participates. Although he does not reference it directly, the words of the prophet Micah come to mind during his discussion on justice as a role of mission - what does the Lord require?

The preacher as a spiritual leader on the one hand seems obvious, but on the other can be a very problematic designation. Allen develops three approaches to spirituality - inner life, common life, and action in life. Whichever is adopted (and they are by no means mutually exclusive), Allen states that `all the modes of spirituality described... presume that they will result in a life that testifies to the gospel.' This spirituality should help the formation of the community as a spiritual family, and let all people know of the way in which spirituality can open up the broader purposes of Christian message. The encouragement of the congregation developing and participating in their own spiritual practices is also an important idea here, and the preacher can model these in her or his own life and preaching.

At each point in this text, Allen gives suggestions for further reading. In terms of identifying and clarifying roles of the minister and the congregation, this is a useful text both for ministers serving congregations as well as congregational leaders to help them recognise their own roles and responsibilities. This book is part of a larger series, `Preaching and Its Partners', edited by Paul Scott Wilson, professor at the Toronto School of Theology. Allen's text is accessible and interesting, avoiding jargon and scholars-only types of terminology.


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