The Resurrection of Ministry
Many who go into ministry with expectancy and optimism find instead discouragement and regret. Is there a hope for renewal, for a new taste of God's grace in serving his people?
With Christ, Andrew Purves reminds us, we move beyond ministry in the mood of Holy Saturday to ministry in the mood of Easter Sunday. And there we find the true basis of hope in ministry. Purves, a seasoned teacher of practical theology, offers a profound look at the nature of spiritual service that gets beyond superficial critiques and simplistic techniques. He points to true, deep joy and hope as we share in Christ's continuing ministry.
"As a pastor who knows the experience of attempting ministry 'in the mood of Holy Saturday,' I am grateful to Andrew Purves for naming this reality and directing my attention to the road out of it. I am always appreciative of theologians who journey from academia to the church in order to help pastors understand the relevance of what is being discussed there. Dr. Purves has written a truly practical theology that both gives me a theological foundation for ministry and invites me to pray. For him theology is not merely an explanation of past events but a discipline that teaches us to live into an ongoing expectation of life and hope in the resurrected Jesus."
"Are you sick of ministry? Tired of your people? Worn, torn, faking it on Sundays and cynical on Mondays? Here is hope. No, more than hope: here is the truth that ripples with energy, power and joy. The resurrected Jesus can revive his ministers, and Andrew Purves is a lyrical, sure guide to bring us to this Jesus. Drink in this book and discover how the living Jesus fills your ministry with his ministry. You'll be renewed!"
"This is not just another book on the resurrection. It is an invitation to experience the work of a resurrected Jesus. And who isn't ready for that?"
"Here is a book, clearly and passionately written, that will help us Christian ministers understand, proclaim and teach the meaning and significance of Christ's resurrection as never before. But most important, here is an invitation to build our ministries on their sure foundation: the resurrected ministry of Jesus himself. What a difference that makes! Joining our risen Lord and participating in his ongoing ministry will infuse us with Easter joy and hope."
"Andrew Purves, who has become a trusted mentor to many of us in Christian ministry, wants to save us from the deepest of all clergy malpractices--the failure to be fully engaged in the resurrected ministry of Jesus. Exercising all the gifts for which we have come to appreciate him, this pastoral theologian par excellence helps us understand--and feel--that it is all about Jesus. Really. Simple as that, mysterious as that. Purves relentlessly takes us back to square one: Jesus is alive. Really alive. And as risen and ascended Lord at work in the world, doing what only he can do. And he is inviting us, after the crucifixion of our ministries, into the joyful, hopeful resurrection of his ministry. Thank you, Andrew, for showing us the way."
"Purves' practical theology may be a helpful tool for invigorating ministry practices to actually proclaim the living Christ rather than consistently sit in expectation of resurrection."
Introduction: Looking Beyond Faith and Ministry in the Mood of Holy Saturday
1 It's Not About the Resurrection but Jesus Risen and Reigning
2 Starting from the Ascension: The Lord Who Encounters Us
3 Why Do You Look for the Living Among the Dead?
4 The Resurrected Jesus
5 Joy and Hope in the Power of the Resurrected and Ascended Jesus
6 Ministry in the Power of the Resurrected Jesus