Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Open Forum: Sabbatical Reading

As I've mentioned a few times on this blog, I'll be taking a sabbatical near the end of April. It'll be for five weeks, and will last until the end of May. I have planned some activities for that time, which I'll lay out fully later. Those are not what this post is about.

Aside from those specific activities and trips, I have a few larger goals for this sabbatical.

On one hand, I want to spend time reflecting on Bigger Professional Things. I'd like to take stock of what passions I've discovered since beginning full-time ministry, as well as passions I've let fall by the wayside. I want to think about possibilities for further education or training. I want to think about who I want to be and what I want to be about as a pastor in general.

On the other hand, I very much want to think about me and my church. 5+ years is a long time to be together, and I want to avoid getting stuck in a rut. I want to continue developing healthy ministries, and I want us to keep challenging ourselves. And I want to keep approaching things with a creative eye, recognizing when something has played out and being ready to consider alternatives.

And that, Super Readers, is why I am writing this post.

I'm still developing a reading list for this time, and I'm not coming up with much. I'm looking for books that encourage a pastor's creative spirit, or that speak to issues related to long-term ministry. And I call on ministerial colleagues out there in CoffeeNation to help me out.

Have you come across a book that touches on these themes? I'm not looking for specifics such as "How to Be a Better Preacher" or "How to Give More Effective Pastoral Care" so much as "How to Sustain a Long Pastorate" or "How to Keep Nurturing Your Creativity." Stuff more like that. It may not even be a ministry-specific book.

At any rate, if there are books like that that you know of, please share. The comments are yours.


Mary Beth said...

As a non-pastor person, I still found The Artist's Way of Preaching very fascinating.

Hope you get lots of good suggestions!

Jeff Nelson said...

Well, this was a bust. But I did find a couple books that should serve me well. And thanks for the suggestion, Mary Beth.

Luke said...

hey there coffee-pastor!

i found Socrate's Cafe an engaging read that would help for bible studies and maybe even sermons!

the dangerous act of worship by mark labberton is pretty tight.

entertainment theology by barry taylor is freak'n awesome and prolly by fave. book that i acquired last year. i think that'd be right up your alley!

i was nervous as to what to post and suggest to ya; unsure where exactly you're at and where your church is as well. hope these help.

on another note; who is your conference minister? i'm working on my profile and almost have my ordination paper done... need to dig up some contacts! hope all is well with you!

Jeff Nelson said...

Hey Luke. I'm in the Ohio Conference, and our Conference Minister is Bob Molsberry.