From the respected long-time director of the Midwest Ministry Development Center, this invaluable resource is based on a popular series of workshops on the topic of Health and Excellence in Ministry. Intended for ministry leaders of all types, this volume offers practical wisdom for developing healthy patterns of behavior in all areas of personal and vocational life. Featuring the three principles of excellence:
Separation of Self and Role;
Always Choose Strength; and
Straight from Jesus.
The book concludes with real-life application of the principles in actual ministry settings, from gossip and conflict to weddings and pastoral calls. Includes a chapter dealing with the challenges of social media and financial management in ministry.
This timely book offers an asset-based analysis and perspective on how to be made whole through an intentional practice of the pastoral arts. This book is a must-read for anyone contemplating vocational ministry and for those who want to be renewed in the pursuit of excellence within the vocation. Not another how-to book but a how-to-become journey is offered, complete with focused exercises that, if attempted with honesty and vulnerability, will lead to lasting transformation.Dave Kersten, DMin, Vice President for Church Relations and Dean, North Park Theological Seminary
Health, Holiness & Wholeness for Ministry Leaders is a compelling reminder that God calls us to personhood before God calls us to professional ministry, and a thoughtful guide for intentionally and creatively putting such liberating belief into practice, day by day, moment by moment.Kirk Byron Jones, DMin, PhD, author of Rest in the Storm: Self-Care Strategies for Clergy and Other Caregivers
Early on in Health, Holiness & Wholeness for Ministry Leaders, John Matthews advises that preparing for the journey of ministry requires the development of an inner coach. My prayer for those in ministry would be that their inner coaches would develop the depth of knowledge, wisdom of application, and tone of loving challenge that are modeled in this book. For those considering entry into vocational ministry or those in ministry ready to honestly assess their professional practice, the exercises for viewing ones self and ones role through the lenses of health and excellence that Matthews illustrates can bring into focus what wholeness in ministry looks like. Rev. Timothy B. Cargal, PhD, Assistant Stated Clerk, Ministry Preparation & Support, Mid Council Ministries of the Office of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (USA)
John R. Matthews has served in many capacities over the years: pastor, minister of education, chaplain resident, instructor of philosophy and logic, and adjunct faculty for a field practicum program. However, J. Matthews, as he has been known professionally, made his principal career at Midwest Career Development Service, which eventually became Midwest Ministry Development Service. Beginning as a counselor in 1970, he later became the Associate Director of the Columbus office and worked in that capacity until his retirement in October 2008. Since 2009, he has continued to work with Midwest in various adjunct roles. He has received several professional certifications: Ordained Elder in the West Ohio Conference the United Methodist Church, Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Ohio, and professional membership in the American Counseling Association and the Association for Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling. As evidence of his noteworthy professional reputation, in 1984 he was appointed by the Governor of Ohio to serve on the state's first Counselor and Social Worker Licensing Board.
Dr. Kristina Ricketts Gutierrez brings a rich array of ministry, counseling, and teaching experiences which have contributed significantly to the development of Leadership in the Church. She has ministered in churches, led ministry organizations, taught in seminaries and other professional settings in the mainland U.S., Puerto Rico, Bolivia, Chile, and Nicaragua, and served as a counselor to individuals and families. Bilingual and bicultural, her 15 years of service in Puerto Rico and Nicaragua have given her a high awareness and understanding of cultural complexities in ministry. Since 2007, she has been a pastoral counselor at the Columbus office of Midwest Ministry Development Service and has counseled and taught hundreds of pastors and others in ministry since that time. Her professional memberships and certifications include ordination by the American Baptist Churches, U.S.A., endorsement as a pastoral counselor and chaplain by the American Baptist Churches, U.S.A., professional affiliate with the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, and membership in the Chaplains' Association of Ohio. During her years of service at Midwest Ministry Development, Dr. Gutierrez worked closely with J. Matthews as he sought to crystallize the broad range of insights and observations he had come to regarding pastoral ministry. Her pedagogical and organizational skills, critical thinking, attention to detail, and her own deep understanding of the key principles outlined in Leadership in the Church all contributed greatly to the eventual shaping of this book.
Dr. Ross Peterson served as the Executive Director of Midwest Ministry Development Service and Southwest Ministry Development Service for 12 years, before retiring in 2017. Since that time, he has continued to work for Midwest in an adjunct capacity, as well as providing counseling and coaching services independently. During his tenure at Midwest, he provided counseling to hundreds of clergy and consulted with various denominational officials regarding how to best support pastors in the midst of the challenges of ministry. In addition to his service at Midwest, he worked as a pastoral counselor for 23 years in several church-related settings and has taught in Chicago-area seminaries. His professional certifications include ordination in the Evangelical Covenant Church and licensure as a clinical professional counselor. His input to this book includes the chapter on social media and financial management for pastors.