Antal, Considering a New Call


James M. Antal, Considering a New Call: Ethical and Spiritual Challenges for Clergy. Alban Institute, 2000.

Referenced in: Ministry Transitions and Interim Ministry Summary

Other books on ministerial transitions hint at the topic of this book, but none develops it so thoroughly. Most ministers know what it is like to have an ongoing relationship with a church, but feel compelled to have a discussion with another church, either through their invitation or the minister’s initiation. This and other dynamics of the search process create ethical quandaries. Antal deals with these questions quite well. This book will not interest all those involved in the search process, but it is important for ministers.

From the Publisher

Serving faithfully in one’s current congregation while simultaneously going through the secretive process of looking for a new position is one of the most difficult dilemmas of any pastor’s life. How should one respond to ‘getting the itch’? Where is the line between keeping confidentialities and presenting one’s credentials in the most favorable and realistic light? What are the consequences of being an active candidate? Antal’s companionable approach stimulates theological and spiritual reflection on matters of the most practical consequence, promotes self-understanding, and enhances ministry. Foreword by John H. Thomas, president of the United Church of Christ.

Editorial Reviews

“This might be the most important book a minister consults during the search process. Jim Antal deals forthrightly with the spiritual and ethical dimensions that lie beneath the logistics of the search process. He recognizes that simple rules are not enough; spiritual discernment of adequate behavior is necessary. Antal provides a ‘guide for the perplexed,’ not a ‘how-to’ book—yet his references put one in touch with the most relevant literature of that genre as well.” —M. B. Handspicker

“With a pastor’s heart, an ethicist’s precision, and a spiritual director’s insight, Jim Antal navigates the rough waters of considering a new call. He refuses to steer away from such tough issues as the fine line between truth-telling and deception, the double congregational duties of a transitioning pastor, the difficulty of appropriate disclosure for professionals practiced at keeping confidences, the timing involved in telling spouse and children, and the importance of a focused prayer life. In a book textured with biblical wisdom and anecdotes from congregational life, Antal provides ministers in transition with what they all so desperately need: a good pastor.” —Martha Ellen Stortz

About the Author

James C. Antal is Senior Minister at Plymouth Church (UCC) of Shaker Heights, Ohio. He is former Executive Director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

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