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What do you do when the call you've accepted seems like a wrong number?

Alan Taylor felt he was growing fat at First Presbyterian Church in Auburn, California. Not that he was putting on weight; Alan's trim, well-groomed appearance spoke quietly of accomplishment. He suspected his ministry was assuming the indolent ease.

His nine years in Auburn, a burgeoning Sierra foothill community where forty-niners once panned for gold, had been happy. Maybe too happy. After unbroken success, Alan began to wonder, Am I becoming content to relax and enjoy the journey? His people freely expressed their affection for the Taylors, giving them tickets to the Sacramento Symphony and the use of ski condos at Lake Tahoe. Alan was no freeloader-First Church had grown from four hundred to nearly a thousand under his leadership-but his tendency to reside in the ease of a comfortable position disturbed him.

Writing had provided Alan's recent excitement. His two books produced speaking engagements and ego strokes. Writing stimulated him, while the church remained a predictable, mastered ...

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