Ordained ministry is a gift of God to the church—but that doesn't mean that it is easy.
Ordained ministry, says Will Willimon, is a gift of God to the
church—but that doesn't mean that it is easy. Always a difficult
vocation, changes in society and the church in recent years have made
the ordained life all the more complex and challenging. Is the pastor
primarily a preacher, a professional caregiver, an administrator? Given
the call of all Christians to be ministers to the world, what is the
distinctive ministry of the ordained? When does one's ministry take on
the character of prophet, and when does it become that of priest? What
are the special ethical obligations and disciplines of the ordained?
Pastor: Revised Edition
explores these and other central
questions about the vocation of ordained ministry. It begins with a
discussion of who pastors are, asking about the theological
underpinnings of ordained ministry, and then moves on to what pastors
do, looking at the distinctive roles the pastor must fulfill. The book
also draws on great teachers of the Christian tradition to demonstrate
that, while much about Christian ministry has changed, its core
concerns—preaching the word, the care of souls, the sacramental life of
congregations—remains the same.
Ordained ministry is a vocation to which we are called, not a profession
that we choose. To answer that call is to open oneself to heartache and
sometimes hardship; yet, given the one who calls, it is to make oneself
available to deep and profound joy as well.