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The Contemplative Pastor

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In the busyness of preaching, teaching, and overseeing church ministries, it’s easy to let the urgent displace the important. The immediate overwhelms the eternal. And pastors find themselves “running the church” but not “curing souls.”

This book is a reminder of the essence of ministry. It offers fresh thoughts on the important but neglected art of spiritual direction.

This book provides welcome refreshment for parched pastors. Peterson does not heap up guilt for not being more disciplined. Instead, the book itself is an oasis, a source of rejuvenation and recommitment to true ministry.

This is the seventeenth volume of THE LEADERSHIP LIBRARY, a continuing series from LEADERSHIP, the practical journal for church leaders published by Christianity Today, Inc. Other volumes in the series include Well-Intentioned Dragons, Preaching to Convince, and The Healthy Hectic Home.

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Top Highlights

“Yes, and my job is not to solve people’s problems or make them happy, but to help them see the grace operating in their lives.” (Page 13)

“The assumption of spirituality is that always God is doing something before I know it. So the task is not to get God to do something I think needs to be done, but to become aware of what God is doing so that I can respond to it and participate and take delight in it.” (Page 12)

“How can I lead people into the quiet place beside the still waters if I am in perpetual motion? How can I persuade a person to live by faith and not by works if I have to juggle my schedule constantly to make everything fit into place?” (Pages 28–29)

“I am busy because I am vain. I want to appear important. Significant” (Page 27)

“The trick, of course, is to get to the calendar before anyone else does. I mark out the times for prayer, for reading, for leisure, for the silence and solitude out of which creative work—prayer, preaching, and listening—can issue.” (Page 32)

Product Details

  • Title: The Contemplative Pastor
  • Author: Eugene H. Peterson
  • Publisher: CTi; Word
  • Publication Date: 1989

Eugene H. Peterson (1932–2018) was a pastor, scholar, author, and poet. He wrote more than thirty books, including his widely acclaimed paraphrase of the Bible, The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language, his memoir, The Pastor, and numerous works of biblical spiritual formation, including Run with the Horses, also available in a commemorative edition. Peterson was founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland, where he served for twenty-nine years before retiring in 1991. With degrees from Seattle Pacific, New York Theological Seminary, and Johns Hopkins University, he served as professor of spiritual theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, until retiring in Lakeside, Montana, in 2006.


4 ratings

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  1. Steven Blader

    Steven Blader


  2. Sejin Park

    Sejin Park


  3. Stephen Williams
    Brilliant vintage Peterson, so much earthing wisdom in his writings, as a Pentecostal myself I found his writings grounded me in scriptures imagination/vision of the Christian story
  4. Noah Lang

    Noah Lang



Digital list price: $10.99
Save $2.00 (18%)