James P. Osterhaus offers pastors tangible and much-needed advice to help them at work and in their personal lives—advice that they do not often hear in seminary. More and more, men and women who minister find themselves depressed. Their marriages are often in trouble. Their families are negatively affected. Often, they have few if any close friends. Over the years, Osterhaus has coached and counseled hundreds of these ministers from various traditions on four continents. As he sat with ministers who have been nearly crushed by the burdens of ministry, he came to learn that the average training of ministers across the globe is woefully deficient in the very areas that allow ministers to avoid many of the pitfalls. This guide is a result of those countless conversations.
Avoiding Pastoral Pitfalls is an attempt to fill some of the void left in the training of pastors. It offers down-to-earth, practical guidance in areas of ministry that are often neglected: understanding yourself (both strengths and weaknesses), what effective leadership looks like, the complicated organizational makeup of the church, how to deal with conflict effectively, how to make sense of your governing board, and how to both enter a new ministry and leave a ministry effectively.