Bob Burns, Tasha D. Chapman, and Donald C. Guthrie. Resilient Ministry: What Pastors Told Us About Surviving and Thriving. Downers Grove: IVP, 2013.
Resilience is a bit of a buzz word these days: in ministry how do we continue to be fruitful and faithful for the long haul? The authors set out to research that question, with eight cohorts of ministers who met three times a year for two years. This book is the fruit of that research, the authors distilling five common themes that will resource resilient ministry: spiritual formation; self-care; emotional and cultural intelligence; marriage and family; and leadership and management.
While none of these five areas will raise eyebrows, what is worthy of note is for ministers discussing their practice these are the five central themes that emerged. The book does more than recognise the themes, it links other writing and research in ways that give broad understanding of how to enrich ministry by developing our own strengths (and bolstering our weaknesses) in each of these areas.
Just reading this book will not bring change: we need to be reflecting together and supporting one another as we bring change into our lives and ministries. Hence: don’t read this book alone. Read it with your ministry team and come together to discuss the helpful questions each chapter contains. This could be the book for your living leadership team to keep growing.