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Diary of a Pastor's Soul: The Holy Moments in a Life of Ministry

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ISBN: 9781493423958
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Diary of a Pastor's Soul tells the story of a fictionalized pastor, embarking on his final year before retirement, who reflects on the experiences and relationships that have formed his vocation and shaped his soul over a lifetime of pastoral ministry.

Drawing on his own experiences, seasoned pastor Craig Barnes invites readers to embrace the life lessons of a pastor who has been formed by his failures and his fleeting moments of glory, but most of all by discovering the holy in the routine but often quirky duties of being a parish pastor.
Through 52 weekly thematic entries, Barnes presents spirituality in narrative form through a collection of interwoven stories about learning to love others with curiosity, amazement, vulnerability, and most of all gratitude for the grace found in flawed lives.

Barnes's fictionalized diary approach creatively shows how the pastoral vocation forms mind, heart, and soul, helping pastors make sense of their own calling. With unvarnished honesty, this book eloquently illustrates a lifetime of ministry, revealing how "the Holy haunts the landscape of life."

From the Back Cover

Diary of a Pastor's Soul tells the story of a fictionalized pastor, embarking on his final year before retirement, who reflects on the experiences and relationships that have formed his vocation and shaped his soul over a lifetime of pastoral ministry.

"Pastors know that there's no one who understands the particular challenges and joys of ministry better than Craig Barnes. When you read this diary, Craig's delight in, exasperation with, and love for the church is manifest. In this rich collection of some of Craig's best thoughts on the Christian ministry, pastors will find much encouragement and guidance, and anybody else will discover why the pastoral ministry is such a serious, joyful, demanding, and ultimately fulfilling vocation."
--Will Willimon, United Methodist Bishop (retired); Duke Divinity School; author of Accidental Preacher: A Memoir

"In this fascinating and beautifully written book, Craig Barnes, employing a creative format, lovingly reveals the challenges and privileged blessings of the pastoral vocation. Barnes loves being a pastor and finds surprising grace even in ordinary ecclesiastical minutiae. I couldn't put the book down."
--John M. Buchanan, former editor and publisher, the Christian Century

"Craig Barnes offers readers a diary full of grace and truth about pastoral ministry. His writing is a salve for the human soul. But more than that, the Holy haunts this book."
--Luke A. Powery, Duke University

"Barnes has more gifts than anyone has a right to have, and many of them shine in Diary of a Pastor's Soul. The meal Barnes offers us is served up like a harvest of ordinary ruminations from a pastor's soul. It gradually turns out, however, to be more like sitting at Babette's feast, prepared by one specially gifted by God to show us how local and seasonal ingredients of pain, beauty, and faith can be more than enough to reveal a table that is actually laden with truth and grace. Take and eat."
--Mark Labberton, president, Fuller Theological Seminary

Contents

Prologue by the Diarist
July
Week One: Writing the Faith in Stone
Week Two: A Faithfully Anonymous Pastor
Week Three: The Pastor's Wife and the Mustang
Week Four: Pastoral Care as Déjà Vu
August
Week One: Saying "I Love You"
Week Two: A Sunday with the New York Times
Week Three: In-Laws and the Priest Thing
Week Four: The Blessing of Old Faith
September
Week One: Pastor, Not Friend
Week Two: Beth, Our New Financial Planner
Week Three: Letting Go of Mac the Custodian
Week Four: Pastoral Lessons from My Sheepdog
October
Week One: Falling from Illusions
Week Two: The Pastor's Home
Week Three: The Grace of Being Ordinary
Week Four: The Study
Week Five: "It Hurt My Feelings"
November
Week One: The Sin I Can't Forgive
Week Two: Finding Gravitas When You're Young
Week Three: The Pastor on the Doctor's Table
Week Four: The Pastor's Pastor
Week Five: Humility to the End
December
Week One: Our Faith and My Faith
Week Two: Frantically Preparing for the Prince of Peace
Week Three: A Young Pastor in Deep Waters
Week Four: A Wedding for the Nonbeliever
Christmas Eve: Being Joseph in the Pageant
January
Week One: The Long, Gray Days of Ministry
Week Two: The Obituary Writer
Week Three: The Pastoral Search Committee
Week Four Announcing the Retirement 000
Week Five: Listening to a Friend
February
Week One: Making Sense of a Pastor's Cancer
Week Two: A Wintry Funeral for Young Teddy
Week Three: The Blessed Church Lady
Week Four: Taking the Heat for God
March
Week One: The Weary Partisan
Week Two: I Was Done with Words
Week Three: The Redemption of Early Mistakes
Week Four: The Loss of Saturday Nights
Week Five: Call Finds a Way
April
Week One: Struggling to Say "Behold"
Week Two: The Real Problem with Being Visible
Week Three: Hard Lessons on Flannelgraph
Week Four: Finally Loving Easter
May
Week One: The Beloved Horse's Ass
Week Two: Getting It Wrong with Race and Gender
Week Three: The Adored Director of Music
Week Four: You're Dead Right
Week Five: Dad, Not Pastor
June
Week One: Seeking the Holy
Week Two: When I Can No Longer Blame Work
Week Three: Still Holding Back Part of Me
Week Four: The Last Surprise
Epilogue

Product Details

  • Title : Diary of a Pastor's Soul: The Holy Moments in a Life of Ministry
  • Author: Barnes, M. Craig
  • Publisher: Brazos Press
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • ISBN: 9781493423958

M. Craig Barnes (PhD, University of Chicago) is president of Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, where he also serves as professor of pastoral ministry. He previously taught at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and has pastored several churches. Barnes frequently speaks and preaches across the country, writes regularly for the Christian Century, and is the author of numerous books, including Searching for Home, When God Interrupts, Sacred Thirst, Hustling God, The Pastor as Minor Poet, and Yearning.

$11.39

Digital list price: $18.99
Save $7.60 (40%)