Epperly, Starting With Spirit


Bruce G. Epperly, Starting With Spirit: Nurturing Your Call to Pastoral Leadership. Alban Institute, 2011.

Referenced in: Ministry Transitions and Interim Ministry Summary

This is especially valuable for those who are transitioning from college/seminary to their first ministry. The topics covered are listed in the publisher’s description below. The special contribution is his approach to ministry transitions as a spiritual practice, including self-care.

**For a summary, click here for the Kindle Version, go to right column, and download the free sample. If you don’t have a free Kindle Reader on your computer, there’s a link for that too.

From the Publisher

Starting with Spirit is a spiritual and professional resource for new pastors, their family members, and congregations, as well as ministers in every season of ministry who seek to grow in vitality and skill in the ongoing adventure of ministry. For more than thirty years, Bruce Epperly has followed the call of the spirit, moving through his vocations as a congregational pastor, university chaplain, seminary and university professor, and seminary administrator. Drawing on these experiences, he addresses the new pastor’s transition from seminary student to congregational leader; pastoral authority; the ‘honeymoon;’ boundaries; death; the pastor’s spiritual life, health, and relationships; the role of the associate pastor; and continuing education.

Epperly calls pastors to pause long enough to experience the movements of the spirit in their lives and to develop habits and practices that keep them in touch with God in the mundane as well as the dramatic moments of ministry. Starting with Spirit, through its creative and life-sustaining guidance, invites new pastors, and pastors in every season of ministry, to nurture the call they received once upon a time in ways that deepen their spiritual lives, nurture faithful excellence and effectiveness in ministry, bring joy to their families and friends, and give glory to the one who inspires their pastoral journeys.

Editorial Reviews

Starting with Spirit is a must-read for those new to pastoral leadership. Bruce Epperly combines best practices in church leadership with real life vignettes and theological reflection. This is the book many will find to be their bridge from seminary to full-time ministry. —Lovett H. Weems, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Church Leadership and Director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership, Wesley Theological Seminary

We have a handbook now, a companion for every new pastor to carry into a first call. Starting with the Spirit echoes with voices of those who have made good transitions to the pastoral life. Bruce Epperly reports from the front lines, and his own voice offers creative wisdom at every critical turn. —The Rev. Dr. George A. Mason, Senior Pastor, Wilshire Baptist Church

Drawing on the experiences of many working pastors, Bruce Epperly offers practical advice and sage counsel for those trying to navigate the sometimes tricky waters of the first years of ministry. New pastors—and the congregations they serve—will benefit enormously by keeping this book close at hand and by consulting it often. —Martin B. Copenhaver, Senior Pastor, Wellesley Congregational Church and co-author of This Odd and Wondrous Calling: The Public and Private Lives of Two Pastors

About the Author

Bruce G. Epperly is Director of Continuing Education and Professor of Practical Theology at Lancaster Theological Seminary and is ordained in the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He is the author or co-author of 18 books including Holy Adventure: 41 Days of Audacious Living as well as Tending to the Holy: The Practice of the Presence of God in Ministry, which was selected as the 2009 Book of the Year by the Academy of Parish Clergy.

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