Tag Archives: pastoral health

Review of “A Sabbatical Primer for Pastors” by Clayton Blackstone


SabbaticalPrimerFront_Web

“You will never know how hard it was to keep you boys busy,” my dad acknowledged in a moment of morphine-induced honesty following surgery for colon cancer.

“Did it ever occur to you to give us a day off?” my youngest
brother asked.

Dad hesitated, but only for a moment — “The thought never crossed my mind.”

“Keep busy” buzzes in my head. My daily “to do” list gives an often distorted shape to my day.

In A Sabbatical Primer for Pastors, David Alves raises his voice over the buzz. “God is taking you out of the brick making business,” he writes. With frequent references to his own story, David argues that Sabbath and Sabbaticals offer a God-designed way for me to be free from the drivenness that has served as a constant companion since my youth.

The Primer troubles me with a question that lingers like the scent of a powerful perfume: which father’s voice will shape the remaining years of my life?

–Clayton Blackstone, author of Meet Me for Breakfast and Pastor of the Advent Christian Church in Bangor, Maine

Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: A Brief Review


Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of MinistryStrengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry by Ruth Haley Barton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book can be extremely helpful for leaders who know that “something is missing” in their leadership or lives. Perhaps you’ve come to that place where everything has lost its luster. You may have been in a really good place, but things have slipped. Or perhaps you’re looking great on the outside, but in your heart of hearts, you KNOW that something’s missing. Something’s not quite right.

Pay attention to that feeling!

The sense of that void or lack is God’s tap on the shoulder to draw near to Him to see what He will say and do. In my case, He did (and continues to do) great things. I am journeying with Him in a new freedom because of His grace to suggest to my spirit that something was missing. I really went through a “dark night of the soul.” On the other side, I see that it was a season of spiritual breakthrough and growth necessary to go on to the next level of sonship or into the next season of life with Abba.

For me, that something is majored on in this book. And really laid out clearly in Ruth Barton’s other book Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God’s Transforming Presence.

For your sake, your church’s sake, and to His glory, read her books and take what is good. Those nuggets that the Lord uses as you journey with Him will make all the difference in your leadership and sonship (for more on “sonship” for both men & women, see my book: We’re The “sons Of God”. . .So What?: Believe God About Who You Really Are!).

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