May 16, 2005

Facing Messy Stuff In The Church--Kenneth L. Swetland


By Rev. Austin Miles
May 16, 2005

What do you do when a convicted pedophile gets saved in prison and upon release wants to join your church? What do you say to him and how do you confront the issues involved? Do you inform the church of his being there?

If you do not, are you putting the children in your church at risk? How would you discuss this in a meeting with the church board? And what about pastoral confidentiality? This is one of the delicate cases detailed in Facing Messy Stuff In The Church.

Every pastor and chaplain who deals with the complex problems of this, 'anything-goes' 21st Century, will benefit from this book.

It is also invaluable for every seminary student and new pastor who hasn't lived long enough to deal with many of life's messes on behalf of the God of mercy and grace.

Even so, the messy stuff profiled in this book is enough to sober even the most seasoned of pastors. It is frank, raw, and instructive. At times, overwhleming. And these are all real cases in various denominational settings in various parts of the country.

The challenging (as well as sensitive) messes dealt with in this excellent Kregel Publications release are dealt with forthrightly.

It is fascinating, informative, and an easy-read (indeed, a most pleasant, smooth read) of fifteen case studies.

In it, author and theological professor, Kenneth L. Swetland (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary where he also serves as campus chaplain) prepares church leaders to deal head-on with the messy stuff, rather than merely doing damage control after the problems have erupted.

Posted by kshaw at May 16, 2005 04:30 PM