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A few years ago I did a book on "burnout" among clergy. Why, having once put their hands to the plow, do some quit?

A man who had counseled troubled pastors in Texas declared to me, after many years' observation, that no one should go into the pastoral ministry who had previously been a professional photographer. His theory: If you have a need to look at the world through a small aperture, if you need to get everyone fixed, in focus, you will be miserable in ministry. People just won't stand still. You think you have got them pinned down, in focus, and then they move.

There is much I do not understand about the faith and its practice (as any of you who are familiar with my work can attest). Yet after twenty years, I do know one thing: There is no way to be a pastor and to be neat.

The neatest pastor I ever knew was a Lutheran who served with me in a small town. He was excessively neat, always cleaning up after everyone, pencils all sharpened in a row on his desk, a personality like Nick Carraway ...

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