Kill a Pastor

I’m pleased to report that I’ve learned of several new releases from Lutheran authors, and I am particularly pleased to draw your attention to those which might otherwise slip through marketing cracks. So, today I want to talk with you about a slim volume titled Ten Ways to Kill a Pastor published through Grail Quest Books.

Obviously few people spend days dreaming up ways to kill a pastor. Still, the sad truth is that pastors are cut to the quick on an ongoing basis. Backs are stabbed, hearts are broken, and lives juggled. Divine calls are given congregational cancellations.

Outside the ministry, terms like clergy abuse are rare. But, in short, human souls are overlooked, largely due to “business” assumptions and a feeling of entitlement by a few, and those human souls very much can include pastors faithfully serving.

As a pastor’s wife, I thank God so often for the kindnesses of our congregation! At the same time, this is a timely book. It explores little things people do that, well, aren’t so little. Horror stories still happen, and just about anyone related to the ministry knows close friends affected by similar or exact scenarios to those included in this book.

This book includes ten vignettes that could apply to countless pastors. The structure suits his cause as Pastor Thoma lets realistic fiction shed a little more light onto a pastor’s life and interaction with parishioners.Pastor Thoma presents pastors’ and their family’s point of view often neglected by parishioners trying to get things “done.” He clearly tries to raise awareness of just how cutting some of these scenes can be—scenes that, outside of church worker circles, may not strike you as hurtful at first.

This book isn’t about gossip or far fetched conspiracy theories. There’s no presumption that pastors are always hardworking and winsome. What it is about, however, is humanizing the man behind that collar and in that pulpit, remembering and honoring his family even when you’re hoping to squeeze one more favor into his time, and lending a little perspective into a pastor’s struggles within his call.

Thanks, Pastor Thoma, for another worthy read! Though this book is on the serious side, I encourage you to also check out his other books, which cover a lively span of topics. They include The Angels’ Portion: A Clergyman’s Whisky Narrative, The Homiletical Canvas: Poetry in Service to Preaching, and Feeding the Lambs: A Worship Primer for Teachers of Children.

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  1. Pingback: Angels' Portion - Meet, Write, & Salutary: Conversation & Community for Lutheran Writers

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