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Re-Calling Ministry [Paperback]

By James E. Dittes (Author) & Donald Capps (Author)
Our Price $ 16.99  
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Item Number 136097  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   184
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.01" Width: 6.05" Height: 0.54"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 30, 1999
Publisher   Chalice Press
ISBN  0827232179  
EAN  9780827232174  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
"This is a gripping and engaging book on the integration of life and ministry. It should be read by seminarians, recent graduates and ordinands, ministers in the field, and congregational leaders-by anyone who asks every so often, 'Why am I doing this?'"

Buy Re-Calling Ministry by James E. Dittes & Donald Capps from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780827232174 & 0827232179

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More About James E. Dittes & Donald Capps

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! James E Dittes was Roger J. Squire Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Theology at Yale Divinity School and Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Yale University until his death in 2009.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Church Administration   [1756  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Ministry   [4391  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Re-defining "successful" ministry  Jan 2, 2005
Dittes challenges the traditionally accepted criteria for success in ministry by arguing that it is in the griefs, disappointments, and seeming failures that a minister is better able to see the people's needs and his own role. This in turn allows for a re-focusing of the ministry and creates space in which God's "creative, redemptive spirit" can work. Ministry is found in the "wilderness" of struggles, resistance and rejection, in the "no's" of the people, and in the interruptions of the minister's expectations.

Ministry is full of grief, including the threat of feeling devoid of identity and the daily pain of investing in one-sided commitments (after just 6 months of full-time church work, I shout a loud "Amen" to that observation). Ministering faithfully involves not an avoidance or denial of grief, but the courage to work in the midst of it (as Ethan Craft tells Gordo in the Lizzie McGuire Movie, "Embrace the sting."). Living in this grief can lead to "new vision, new commitment, new guidance, and new personhood." The very things that most seem a repudiation of the call to ministry serve rather as a "re-calling" to a more faithful and vibrant ministry.

Dittes encourages the pastor to inhabit whatever space she is given, even if it's not what she expects or desires, and to work changes from within that place, by making room for people to grow, rather than trying to effect change by force or stubborn resistance. He counsels pastors to follow the spirit of ministry rather than the "letter" of ministry, and to speak genuinely and make real commitments, while expecting for others to "flake" on theirs. Conflicts in the hopes of the people and the minister can refine and reshape each party's expectations, so that new "possibilities for ministry [are] opened by those frustrations."

It is useless, Dittes states, to wait until we feel "prepared" for ministry, because we will never be prepared and we will always be cognizant of the "stark limitations of our puny resources." Moreover, ministry comes most often in interruptions that frustrate what preparation we have done (I realize this when I'm giving a very well-constructed children's message during worship, only to have the congregation's attention directed instead to the small boy who is pounding on my shoe). More importantly, our shortcomings magnify God's work in us, and God's "I will be with you" is a "stern rebuke only because it is a faithful promise." God sends us into situations that are over our heads only because God promises to be there with us.

And that's not always a fun place to be, but Dittes reminds us that that is the call of Christians, while encouraging us with the promise of God's presence with us.

This book is a ray of hope for those being challenged in ministry.
An Honest Yet Hopeful look at Ordained Ministry  Apr 18, 2000
I would require anyone thinking of enrolling in seminary to first read this book. Dittes, a professor at Yale Divinity School, has provided an honest look at the trials and griefs of ordained ministry, while also affirming the validity, hope and sacred grounding of the vocation. Dittes warns of the pitfalls, illusions, disappointments, and thanklessness that pastors inevitably experience yet rarely confess in public. Nonetheless, it is a compassionate and loving look at a vocation that many feel they MUST enter, come what may.

Although carefully written in inclusive language and with the view that pastors can be of either gender, the book still exhibits a slightly male bias in terms of the biblical metaphors employed and temptations faced.


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