It was announced in the early afternoon on October 22, 2018 that Eugene Peterson, author of The Message Bible and over 30 other books, including A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, passed from this life to the next. An article released by Christianity Today, announced Peterson’s death under this banner…
I saw that banner and the corresponding picture of Pastor Eugene and began to weep. Through the tears, my mind went back to 2008.
We’d just celebrated the 10th year of our Vineyard church plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Things had been going well over the first decade. But now suddenly, just about everything that was going right the first ten years reversed itself and my church was facing struggles I’d never experienced before. I’ve written a lot about this season of transition, so won’t bore you with the details. But just about the time I was so depressed and feeling hopeless about the pastoral ministry (2011), my pastoral coach suggested I grab a copy of Eugene Peterson’s classic book on pastoral ministry, The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction.
Bingo. Exactly what I needed to hear at exactly the right time I needed to hear it.
From that season forward, I’ve become an avid fan of everything Eugene Peterson, even to the point of frustrating some of my friends! But folks, let me say it this way. When God uses a man and his writings to save your life and save the call on my life, how else should I respond? I, for one, will be thankful to Jesus for this man used of God to help and encourage literally thousands and thousands of pastors like me who probably would have given up on pastoral ministry if it weren’t for the writings of Eugene Peterson.
This blog series (first published back in 2011) covering Eugene Peterson’s classic, The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction, written in 1989, allowed me to process truths about the pastoral ministry I’d never considered. Over 37 blog entries, allow me to share my thoughts on some of those new revelations.
Below, you will find a complete list of all 37 blogs in this series. We suggest that you bookmark this home page for ease of use. Enjoy!
Each one of our blog studies can serve you well as a support piece in your devotional life with Jesus. As you’ll see when you open up one of our pages, each blog begins with a short scripture or reading, some thoughts to consider, and then concludes with a prayer and a question or two for you to ponder. Go slow. Walk at your own pace, inviting the Holy Spirit to join with you as you read and reflect.
From the book’s Introduction:
From Chapter One:
From Chapter Two:
From Chapter Three:
From Chapter Four:
From Chapter Six:
From Chapter Seven:
From Chapter Eight:
From Chapter Nine:
From Chapter Ten:
From Chapter Eleven:
From Chapter Twelve:
From Chapter Thirteen:
From Chapter Fourteen:
From Chapter Fifteen:
Don’t take this journey into this series alone! One of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of this blog series is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with how to make material like this part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Sustainable Faith-Heartland network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.