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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2000
In his sharp yet graceful way, Peterson calls pastors to a needed level of introspection. As he notes, "It doesn't take many years in this business to realize that we can conduct a fairly respectable pastoral ministry without giving much more than ceremonial attention to God." Increasingly, the church is using social tools to both chase our rapidly accelerating society and to guage the church's success within our society. As a relatively new pastor, I've already experienced the pressure (my own and otherwise) to minister and measure my ministry by social standards that often have nothing to do with God's direction. Yet, Peterson clearly reminds the reader that faithfulness to God's call is often counter to society's best and most up-to-date wisdom. Through reading this book, my own priorities have shifted for the better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2001
The power, longevity and effectiveness of a church lies in large part on the leadership of its pastor(s). It shouldn't be about his or her administrative skills or ability to jump at every whim a member of the congregation brings forward. It should be about the spiritual life and leadership of the pastor. This isn't about perfection. It's about relationship with God. As a lay person who is active in the local church and works in a ministry to pastors, my heart delights in a pastor who puts God first and everything else in its proper place. You see, when the pastor's hunger for God is alive and well and being fed I can see it, and I have a role model to follow. When the pastor's life demonstrates the results of intimacy with Christ, I am motivated and encouraged.
As a lay person, I was brought up short because for too long I have measured my pastors by the to do list he accomplishes and the teaching she does. I have not always allowed them the space to do the most important things - being the guardian and teacher of the word and sacrament, abiding in Christ through prayer, and being the spiritual director I need rather than the quick answer to a problem I bring forward. I stand corrected.
My hope is that this book crosses the desk of every pastor in America, to renew his or her call to ministry, to give permission and encouragement in keeping the promises of ordination and installation. It will radically change the pastorate and the Church it ministers to.
Well done, Pastor Peterson. Thank you for your honesty, your leadership, and your willingness to be real and tell it like it is.
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on January 26, 2001
This is a marvelous writer who has walked the talk of a pastor of integrity. I remember reading his "Five Smooth Stones" in sem and marveling over the wisdom this man wordsmiths so succinctly for the rest of us to consume and feed on.
So it continues with this account of what angles really a pastor is about: prayer, the Word and spritual direction. Acts 6:4 certainly prescribes to Peterson's analysis as well.
This is a direct challenge to the CEO mentality in the church today. Marketing the church has taken over in too many places. The necessary corrective is offered here. As he poignantly writes: "This isn't the only task in the life of faith, but it is your task. We will find someone else to do the other important and essential tasks. This is yours: word and sacrament." Amen.
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on May 29, 2000
When I interviewed for my first pastorate, I began to develop and live out the angles that Peterson presents as the true role of the Pastor.
Although I have not read this book in awhile, I have a triangle posted in my office that continually reminds me what I am supposed to do and be. I am to pray, read/study Scripture, and give spiritual direction. This is especially encouraging and helpful when I get hung up in the business of running programs and putting out "fires" and . . .
Highly recomended to all in the pastorate, or considering it. Should be a text in every seminary and Bible college.
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on March 8, 2004
I have a friend who is a professor at a school of religion. He helps to train our next generation of pastors. He once told me that "Working the Angles" was one of the best books on Pastoral Theology he had read and by far Peterson's best work. I don't think I would go as far as he did with my praise, but this certainly is a book worth owning. It will help you get back to the basics.
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on June 18, 1998
Peterson effectively cuts to the heart of pastors who too easily fall into clerical complcency. He focuses on the areas of prayer, scripture, and spiritual direction. He compels us to think of who we are, far more that what we do. It is convicting and motivating. Well written and timely.
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