Every church congregation encounters challenging situations , some the same the world over, and others specific to each church. Richard Robert Osmer here seeks to teach congregational leaders --- including, but not limited to , clergy --- the requisite knowledge and skills to meet such situations.
Osmer organizes Practical Theology around four pertinent questions. each of which epitomizes a core task of practical theological interpretation:
What is going on? (the descriptive - empirical task )
Why is this going on? (the interpretive task)
What ought to be going on? (the normative task)
How might the leader respond? (the pragmatic task)
These questions can be asked of any challenging episode of the pastoral ministry. Taken together, these four tasks constitute the basic structure of practical theological interpretations.
Useful, accessible, and -- with the inclusion of specific case studies -- lively, Osmer's Practical Theology is ideal for seminary students and leaders currently serving congregations.