The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1993 - Religion - 171 pages
Any pastor who needs and wants to get back to basics will do well to absorb this book. Eugene Peterson, well known as "a pastor's pastor," here speaks words of wisdom and refreshment for pastors caught in the busyness of preaching, teaching, and "running the church."
In"The Contemplative Pastor"Peterson highlights the often-overlooked essentials of ministry, first by redefining the meaning of pastor through three strengthening adjectives: "unbusy, subversive, "and"apocalyptic." The main part of the book focuses on pastoral ministry and spiritual direction "between Sundays": these chapters begin with poetic reflections on the Beatitudes and then discuss such themes as curing souls, praying with eyes open, the language of prayer, the ministry of small talk, and sabbatical--all with engaging, illustrative anecdotes from Peterson's own experience.
The book ends with several meaning-full poems that pivot on the incarnation, the doctrine closest to pastoral work. Entitled "The Word Made Fresh," this concluding section is a felicitous finale to Peterson's discerning, down-to-earth reflections on the art of pastoring."

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User Review  - cbradley - LibraryThing

Eugene Peterson’s The Contemplative Pastor introduces several ideas on how to have a rewarding ministry while addressing the tension between the expectations of the pastor and the role the pastor ... Read full review

User Review  - Ricardo Rocha -

Through this reading you will see that Eugene Peterson has a heart for pastors and being one with large experience he can definitely help all of us in our service to the King of kings. The ... Read full review

Selected pages


The Naked Noun
The Unbusy Pastor
The Subversive Pastor
The Apocalyptic Pastor
Ministry amid the Traffic
Curing Souls The Forgotten Art
Praying with Eyes Open
Is Growth a Decision?
The Ministry of Small Talk
Unwell in a New Way
Lashed to the Mast
Desert and Harvest A Sabbatical Story
Poets and Pastors

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About the author (1993)

Eugene H. Peterson was born in East Stanwood, Washington on November 6, 1932. He received a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Seattle Pacific University, a bachelor of sacred theology from New York Theological Seminary, and a master's degree in semitic languages from Johns Hopkins University. He founded Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland in 1962, where he served as pastor until retiring in 1991. He then became a professor of spiritual theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia until retiring in 2006. His first book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, was published in 1980. He wrote over 30 books including Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, Eat This Book, Tell It Slant, As Kingfishers Catch Fire, and Every Step an Arrival. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language won a Gold Medallion Book Award. He died from complications of heart failure and dementia on October 22, 2018 at the age of 85.

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