The Contemplative Pastor
Any pastor who needs to get back to spiritual basics will do well to read and absorb this book. Known to many as “a pastor’s pastor,” Eugene Peterson here speaks words of wisdom and refreshment for pastors caught in the busyness of preaching, teaching, and “running the church.”
To get at the often overlooked essentials of ministry, Peterson redefines the meaning of pastor through three vivid, strengthening adjectives – unbusy, subversive, and apocalyptic – and then focuses on pastoral ministry and spiritual direction “between Sundays.” Illustrated with engaging anecdotes from Peterson’s own experience as a pastor, the book includes poetic reflections on the Beatitudes and discussions of such themes as curing souls, the ministry of small talk, the language of prayer, and sabbatical.
The Contemplative Pastor ends with several fervent poems centred on the incarnation, the doctrine closest to pastoral work. Entitled “The Word Made Flesh,” this concluding section is a fitting finale to Peterson’s discerning, biblically based insights on the art of pastoring.