"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Pastoral Leadership Today

What does it take to lead a parish today? That is not as easy a question to answer as it may seem. With many Eastern Christian parishes--both Catholic and Orthodox--facing a rather grim future today, this is a question that becomes more acute with each passing year. Yale University's Christopher Beeley suggests we look to the past for answers to guide our present and our future: Leading God's People: Wisdom from the Early Church for Today (Eerdmans, 2012), 160pp.

About this book the publisher tells us:
Using the wisdom of the past to address the challenges of the present, Christopher Beeley'sLeading God's People presents key principles of church leadership as they were taught by great pastortheologians of the early church, including Gregory of Nazianzus, Ambrose, Augustine, Chrysostom, and Gregory the Great.
Written by an acclaimed patristics scholar with firsthand parish experience, this book presents the key principles of church leadership as they were taught by some of the great pastor-theologians of the early church.
Over the centuries, countless leaders from all church traditions — Eastern and Western, Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox — have turned to the classic works on pastoral ministry for inspiration and guidance. Here Christopher A. Beeley draws on the wise teachings of early Christian leaders as he offers warmhearted pastoral advice to fellow ministers and candidates for ministry. Topics covered include the nature of Christian service, pastoral authority, spirituality for leaders, pastoral care and healing, Scripture and theology as resources for ministry, and the transformative power of word and sacrament.
The dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary, John Behr, says that this
is a wonderful book, based upon Christopher Beeley's deep love and knowledge of the great fathers of the church, East and West, as well as the practice of ministry within the church. . . . Provides solid guidance to all who are interested in the practice of Christian leadership, both lay and ordained.

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