Working The Angles : The Shape Of Pastoral Integrity

Decent Essays
In today 's culture the congregational expectations on a pastor are quite different from the vocational spiritual disciplines required for faithful pastoral ministry. The office of the pastor, for the congregation, has become nothing more than a managerial position of running a religious organization. In response to this Eugene Peterson offers his take on the distinctive work of the pastor and the practices that shape pastoral integrity. In his book, Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity, Peterson outlines the practices of prayer, Scripture and spiritual direction as the backbone of faithful pastoral ministry. The following will discuss these practice, there benefit to pastoral ministry and why Peterson call to these practice are important to pastors today. Peterson opens Working the Angles with three chapters on prayer. He critiques contemporary Seminary culture for training pastors to focus on the ministry of the Word and Sacrament. However, Peterson contests, “For the majority of the Christian centuries most pastors have been convinced that prayer is the central and essential act for maintaining the essential shape of the ministry to which they were ordained.”1 For Peterson prayer is never the first word, but it is response to what God has already done and is doing. Therefore, the pastoral task is to restore prayer to this position of response through practice of praying the Psalms and other Scripture. It is vitally important that pastors make space for
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