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November 7, 2011 / Richard Bass

Resources and Comments in Response to “Claiming Your Leader’s Voice”

Claiming Your Leader’s Voice” (the November 7, 2011 Alban Weekly, adapted from Starting with Spirit: Nurturing Your Call to Pastoral Leadership) challenges the seminarian and new or future pastor to develop “active voices”—by learning to ask such key questions as these: “What do I think of this [reading assignment]?” and “How will I translate this to a congregation?” Author Bruce Epperly goes on to note that practicing an active voice is part of the pastoral imagination essential to creative ministry. Other parts include reflecting on—and updating—one’s personal credo annually, as well as asking what difference one’s beliefs make in life.

Epperly contends that spiritual disciplines—and taking responsibility for one’s spiritual life—are central to the important task of learning what he calls the “rhythm of pastoral leadership.” An effective minister must be intentional about her or his schedule and priorities, and this intentionality requires balancing ministerial duties with practices that nurture personal and spiritual well-being.

What resources can help a new or prospective minister to develop pastoral imagination and the rhythm of pastoral leadership? In addition to the items listed at the end of the article, please consider these items annotated in the Congregational Resource Guide: Resurrecting Excellence: Shaping Faithful Christian Ministry; Discovering the Narrow Path: A Guide to Spiritual Balance; and Becoming a Pastor: Reflections on the Transition into Ministry.

What are your stories and thoughts on this topic? And what resources do you suggest? We look forward to hearing from you.

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