One pastor's journey from idealism, through disillusionment, to an acceptance of grace
After forty years as a Presbyterian pastor, Douglas Brouwer wondered if he had spent his life, as the author of Ecclesiastes laments, "chasing after wind." What did all the hard work on evenings and weekends and holidays, away from his family, amount to? What was there to make of the long string of petty conflicts and the overwhelming feeling of disillusionment? And in the current age of shrinking mainline churches, what could he point to as the end result of his decades in ministry?
Chasing after Wind will resonate with pastors everywhere who went into ministry to do lifechanging work for God and ended up spending most of their time managing the parking situation outside the church, fielding parishioner complaints about the color of the sanctuary carpet (or, in Brouwer's case, the color of his shoes), and endlessly fundraising for mission projects and building maintenance. In telling his story, Brouwer comes to recognize that the most meaningful parts of his career--the "holy bits," as he calls them--were in unexpected moments where everything was stripped away but the mysterious work of God. Recounting these times of curious joy and shared mourning, he demonstrates how a pastor can find grace and peace in looking back on a life in ministry.